Everyone listens to music all the time. Whether it’s in the car on the way to work, through headphones during a workout, or while taking a bubble bath: we listen to music whenever we do anything. Humans have been listening to music since the dawn of time, since we first began using tools. Its effect on us is undeniable, we love it. But for the first time, science has been able to clarify what exactly makes music so worth the listen. Surprisingly, it might not just be good for us because we like listening to it. Music could be good our health, too.
You have probably listened to a sad song once or twice when you were feeling down. Well, that wasn’t for no good reason. Science now shows that this type of behavior can benefit your well-being. Listening to songs that match your emotional levels can provide relief from stress by acting as an expression of your feelings. In other words, listening to music in times of stress can be cathartic. That is to say that it is like chatting up a friend or dancing, it will make you feel much better.
Speaking of friends, music also stimulates your brain’s release of oxytocin, or as it’s nicknamed, “the love hormone”. Oxytocin kicks happiness into high gear by sparking bonds with other people. These connections make us as humans much happier. That means music won’t just help you get through a rough patch, it can also provide that light at the end of the tunnel!
Not only does music help you on an emotional level, but it boosts your brainpower as well. While you’re listening to music, your brain is actively analyzing those sounds for patterns, without you even thinking about it. Through this, music maximizes your brain activity. According to some studies, listening to music can even up your IQ by a few points, making it easier for you to learn new ideas. Music can also help you work if you happen to be doing a repetitive task, it keeps you “on beat”. Given these new studies, it might be a good idea to keep some music going while doing homework or cleaning up around the house.
But music isn’t solely good for your brain, it’s good for your body. Studies show that half an hour of calm music a day can reduce your blood pressure, thereby lowering your risk for a heart attack. More than your blood pressure, music can help you run that extra mile by improving your athletic performance. Music with quick beats assist your body’s production of endorphins, a type of hormone that counteracts pain. This means that by listening to music during a workout, you can stay motivated enough to push yourself to the absolute limit. Having said that, Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger may have helped Rocky more than originally thought.
So if you want to live a happy, active life, music. Listen to music whether it be gentle ambient noises, rock and roll, rap and hip-hop, or punk and pop. Music is a miracle worker for your mind, your brain, and your body. And it was right in our ears the whole time.