The Benefits of Listening to Music


By guest contributor: Sally Writes

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent"; so said Victor Hugo.

Music can do what language cannot: it is a powerful healing force which can help you free the demons trapped inside you, so that you may look at them from a safe distance. Music is a way to express creative expression and enhance a variety of skills which children then use in other areas. However, it's not just creating music that has these wonderful benefits; listening to music is just as important.

Music Makes You Happy

Listening to music you love for just 15 minutes makes your brain release dopamine, and this biologically causes you to feel happy and excited. Also, experiencing certain types of music can help relieve anxiety and fight depression, distracting us from stress, relieving pain and helping us calm down. Meditative sounds, classical music and easy slow acoustic tunes are all good choices for anxiety and pain relief.

Music Helps You Sleep Better

Music can be calming and relaxing, and can be a great help for those suffering from insomnia. Depression and insomnia are often closely linked, and listening to calm, relaxing music can help fight both. Listening to classical music just before sleep helps you get a deeper, more refreshing and healing sleep.

Music Makes You Smarter

All genres of music have equal dignity, but some genres may be particularly beneficial; research shows that certain types of music boost cognitive performance, whether it's for a big test at school or an important presentation at work. Music, mainly if classical or meditative, improves productivity on repetitive tasks, generally enhances performance and gives you a motivational jump start on all tasks, especially those requiring creativity. On the other hand, popular music or tunes with lyrics hinders comprehension.

Some research has even shown how your musical taste might correlate to SAT scores; in general, loving classical music apparently helps you ace the SAT. Music tastes usually accompany us throughout our journey, and we rarely step outside our comfort zone, enjoying our favorite "oldies" for years. Just like we choose our favorite genres based on our personalities, these genres also in turn mold our personalities and make us into who we are today.

Progressive rock also correlates to high SAT scores, as its complex time signatures make it ideal for a mathematically inclined individual. Rap can go both ways; it is both complex in its multi-syllabic rhyme scheme and also emotionally shallow in the vocals which generally employ no symbolic communication and expression.

Music Heals

Music helps us heal from trauma; music lifts our spirits and helps us cathartically acknowledge and process our feelings and emotions in a healthy and healing way. Music helps in regaining self-confidence and dealing with loss, helping us cope and process the trauma.

The benefits of listening to music are endless, and anyone can experience them. All you have to do is put on your headphones and press play.