Makes You Happier: Research proves that when you
listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good”
neurotransmitter. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University,
injected eight music-lovers with a radioactive substance that binds to dopamine
receptors after they listened to their favorite music. A PET scan showed
that large amounts of dopamine were released, which biologically
caused the participants to feel emotions like happiness, excitement,
and joy. So, the next time you need an emotional boost, listen to your favorite
tunes for 15 minutes. That’s all it takes to get a natural high!
Enhances Running Performance: Marcelo Bigliassi and
his colleagues found that runners who listened to fast or slow motivational
music completed the first 800 meters of their run faster than runners
who listened to calm music or ran without music.
Lowers Stress and Improves Health: Listening
to music you enjoy decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body,
which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. This is an
important finding since stress causes 60% of all our illnesses and disease. To
stay calm and healthy during a stressful day, turn on the music!
Helps You Sleep Better: A study showed that
students who listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before
turning in slept significantly better than students who listened to an
audiobook or did nothing different from their normal routine. If you’re
having trouble sleeping, try listening to a little Bach or Mozart before
bedtime to catch some Zs.
Helps You Eat Less: Research at Georgia Tech
University showed that softening the lighting and music while people ate
led them to consume fewer calories and enjoy their meals more. If you’re
looking for ways to curb your appetite, try dimming the lights and
listening to soft music the next time you sit down for a meal.
Strengthens Learning and Memory: Researchers
discovered that music can help you learn and recall information better, but it
depends on how much you like the music and whether or not you’re a musician.
Subjects memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either
seemed positive or neutral to them. The results showed that participants
who were musicians learned better with neutral music but tested better
when pleasurable music was playing. Non-musicians, on the other hand, learned
better with positive music but tested better with neutral music.
Reduces Pain: Research at Drexel University in
Philadelphia found that music therapy and pre-recorded music reduced pain more
than standard treatments in cancer patients. Other research showed that
music can decrease pain in intensive care patients and geriatric care
patients, but the selection needed to be either classical pieces,
meditative music, or songs of the patient’s choosing.
Increases Verbal Intelligence: After only one
month of music lessons (in rhythm, pitch, melody, and voice), a study at York University showed
that 90% of children between the ages of 4 and 6 had a significant increase in
Raises IQ and Academic Performance: Research
shows that taking music lessons predicts higher academic performance and IQ in
young children. In one study, 6-year-olds who took keyboard or
singing lessons in small groups for 36 weeks had significantly larger increases
in IQ and standardized educational test results than children who
took either drama lessons or no lessons. The singing group did the best. To help your children achieve academic excellence, encourage them to sing or learn to play an instrument.
Keeps Your Brain Healthy in Old Age: A
study with healthy older adults found that those with ten or more
years of musical experience scored higher on cognitive tests than musicians
with one to nine years of musical study. The non-musicians scored the