Music Theory

Seven Reasons Why Music is Actually Pretty Damn Good for You

Everyone enjoys listening to music, but have you ever asked yourself why? The answer is more complicated than you might think…So stay tuned to learn more about how listening to music can improve your health, your career prospects and even your sex life! (Cheeky!)

Music can improve your mood

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a bad day and listening to your favourite tunes. Whether it be rocking out to some heavy metal or soothing yourself with some folk. But why is plugging yourself into Spotify so therapeutic? One cause is the link between music and the levels of certain hormones in your body. Classical music, for example, is often used in therapy as a way of lowering blood pressure. In fact, according to research published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International, listening to the music of Mozart and Strauss for 25 minutes can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Surprisingly, the music of ABBA showed similar results! So what are you waiting for? Why not Take A Chance On Me and give this a go?

Check out our ABBA sheet music collection

For those that suffer from anxiety, Dr David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International swears by this track by Marconi Union which purportedly helps to lower anxiety levels by up to 65%.

Music can improve your sex life

According to a survey carried out by neuroscientist Daniel J. Leviti, listening to music at home can dramatically increase your chance of sex. 67% of subjects reported that they have sex more regularly when playing music in their house than without. Music is a natural aphrodisiac so it makes sense that it would help you seal the deal! As well as this, music is claimed to be a natural remedy for men who experience a low sex drive. Researchers at McGill maintain that the act of listening to music releases dopamine, A.K.A the feel-good hormone. So if a couple is feeling good and the moment is right well…you can guess the rest! But which song works best? Obviously this is a matter of personal choice, but here are a few ideas to get you started: Sexual Healing, Let’s Get it On, Anything, Je T’aime and Sex on Fire.

Try it yourself! Check out our sheet music for Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On

Music can improve your career

Yes, it’s true! Listening to music can help you focus on the task at hand and make you more productive. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience of Behaviour and Physiology, listening to music can improve your ability to recognise images, letters and numbers. It also means you make fewer mistakes. It’s also worth noting the effect music has on your confidence levels. Researchers have noted that listening to bass-heavy tunes can make you more confident, which can improve your performance in particularly nerve-wracking interviews or presentations.

Check out this one man show by bass player Leandro Ferreira, on Play. How did you feel afterwards?

Music can improve your memory

Did you know music is commonly used to help those who suffer from dementia? As seen in Dan Cohen’s award-winning 2014 documentary Alive Inside, playing songs that have particular significance to a dementia sufferer can improve their behaviour, mood and memory. There are some really amazing examples of this working. Take Former Representative, Gabrielle Giffords, for example who, after experiencing a gunshot wound to her head and losing her ability to speak, was able to relearn this skill by singing. While her left side of the brain was damaged, Giffords was able to voice her thoughts by singing them – a skill that comes from the right side of the brain. Pretty amazing stuff!

Music can be used to help children on the autism spectrum

Music therapy was first used in the early to mid 1900s in the US, with the aim to help children with additional needs. According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), music therapy can be used to add communication, social skills and emotional regulation. The AMTA maintains that music therapy provides a safe space for those with autism to express their thoughts, desires and emotions. It is an especially useful tool for those who struggle to communicate verbally. As well as this, music therapy may be used to teach children new skills. This is achieved by pairing a particular skill with a musical cue. Over the time, the cues are phased out until the child may perform the skill without musical aid.

Music can help sooth a foetus in the womb

Just as high levels of stress can have negative effects on foetal development, certain types of music can help sooth a foetus. While some claim that listening to Mozart can make your baby smarter, the facts behind this claim are tenuous. Any kind of music (provided it’s not too loud or fast) can help a child’s early brain development as music facilitates neurone connections in the brain. According to studies, music can also be used in prenatal bonding.

Music can ease pain!

Music can be used as a method of reducing both acute and chronic pain. Just as the brain releases endorphins, which elevate your mood, after exercise, music prompts the same reaction in your brain. A 30-minute music therapy session can lead to notable results immediately. In fact, according to Robert Zatorre of McGill University, music can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. The release of this chemical is associated with things like food, sex, and even addictive drugs. Naturally, this improves your mood and can make you feel pain sensations less acutely. Furthermore, according to a study that saw volunteers being mildly electrically zapped on the ankle, music can interfere with pain signals in the body. In the study, the volunteers withdrew their feet less forcefully when listening to music, particularly relaxing music. This means music can be a great way of helping people who suffer from chronic pain. It’s also worth noting that music can be a welcome distraction from the pain. According to David Bradshaw, a psychologist at the University of Utah’s Pain Research Centre, by not thinking about the pain, you experience it less.  

There you go. Seven reasons why you’re much better off having music in your life. There is still so much we don’t know about the psychological, sexual, social and biological impact music has on our life, but we do know that we’re better off.

Scientists all agree on the benefits of having more music in your life. Don’t wait any further, join the largest community of musicians on Play by Jellynote, get advice, organize virtual concerts and make friends!

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About author
William Ridd is a writer based in London. After a messy divorce from the clarinet, William decided that playing music wasn’t for him, but he continues to appreciate it and likes writing about it.
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