People often feel that music is a major part of their lives, regardless of whether or not they’ve had any technical training. And it’s no secret that musical elements, like pitch, tempo, and dynamics, affect our emotions and minds.
So what does that mean for us in the midst of a pandemic, when our everyday lives have been thrown into disarray? Music is more than sounds in your ear or symbols on a page. Here are four science-backed ways that music can help you navigate stress.
Tired of waking up feeling tired? Stress can impact the quality and quantity of our sleep, but so can instrumental music. The British Academy of Sound Therapy found that listening to melodious, lyric-free music for as little as 13 minutes helped 82% of people feel restful and ultimately get a better night’s sleep. Imagine waking up feeling more refreshed and ready for a new day because your body and mind actually, truly rested!
Feeling irritable, “foggy”, and less productive can be side effects of stress. These feelings might be especially counter-productive if you’re transitioning to working from home or helping your kids adapt to virtual schooling. Thankfully, studies have shown that harmonious, meditation-style background music may improve your ability to process and comprehend information. Play your favorite, most zen-like tunes to think more clearly, feel less overwhelmed, and stay focused as you and your family create new daily routines.
Your body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections can be influenced by how stressed you are. Playing a musical instrument lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can impact your very DNA and how it tells your body to function. Music can also increase white blood cell activity by keeping them on high alert and ready to battle any infections or viruses that they encounter. So show your system some love and keep yourself healthy by playing or listening to your favorite music!
If negative thoughts keep racing through your mind, stress might be the culprit. Combat it by actively listening to your favorite music, which can increase activity in both the reward and emotion centers of your brain. This type of brain activity can help you feel happier, calmer, and more self-aware. Plus, it gives you the perfect excuse to jam to your most-loved songs!
Contemporary piano solo music is lyric-free and creates a more peaceful setting for meditation, working or learning from home, and general relaxation. Listen to my music on Pandora or Spotify, or download entire songbooks to keep you happily occupied at home! You can also subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive content delivered right to your inbox.