Health Talk
Past Issues:

Music for the Soul & Health

MusicNotesHave you ever exercised to music and felt like a superstar? Has a beautiful piece of music ever reduced you to tears? Do you put on relaxing music for an evening at home, plug in your favourite tunes when you’re on an airplane or cleaning up around the house?
Music isn’t just something that impacts your mood. Music is actually good for your heath. Research has shown that music has a profound effect on the brain, triggering a response in your brain related to movement, learning, memory and emotion.  It means that by listening to the right music, you can actually reduce pain, fatigue, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Music and children
Teachers and parents have known for some time that music is an essential part of every child’s development. Studies have shown that music helps with language skills, develop fine motor skills and improve one’s overall IQ.

Survey by Mind – the mental health charity – linked resistance to pain with art and music therapy. Using two groups to test the hypothesis, the group that listened to music experienced better pain relief than the group that did not. The psychologist who led the study reported, “Listening to music for about 25 minutes everyday for at least ten days can help prevent back pain and also make you sleep better.”

Why it works: Two systems in our body react sensitively to music. The first is the part of our nervous system responsible for controlling blood pressure, heartbeat and brain function. The second is the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls feelings and emotions.

When we feel pain, we become frightened, frustrated and angry. This makes us tense up our muscles. Listening to music on a regular basis helps our bodies relax physically and mentally. By relaxing in this way, we relieve, and prevent muscle pain.

Making music part of your day
A great way to add “music to your diet” is to make playlists to correspond with moods. For example, an “energy list” when you need to power up, a “relaxing” list for calming down, even a “survivor list” or list of power songs when you want to summon strength and courage.

What’s your power song?
One way in which to bring music into your health regime is to pick a power song or a few. These are songs that when you play them, you instantly feel more positive, confident and strong.  Here is a list some popular power songs:

  • “Firework”, by Katie Perry
  • “Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin
  • “Nothings Going to Stop Us Now,” Starship
  • “Another One Bites the Dust,” Queen
  • “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor
  • “Stronger”, Kelly Clarkson
  • “Born this Way”, Madonna
  • “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”,
The Beatles
  • “The Prayer”, Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
  • “Brandenburg Concert No. 2 in F Major”, J.S. Bach
  • “Sing. Sing. Sing.”, Louis Prima