Peaceful music offers a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Keep reading to learn how music can improve your health every day.
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In this article:
- Regulates Mood
- Contributes to Well-Being
- Helps Relieve Stress
- Improves Pain Tolerance
- Improves Sleep Quality
5 Reasons to Add Peaceful Music to Your Playlist
1. Regulates Mood
Mental health is just as important as physical health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports mental illness can increase the risk of serious physical health problems.
Scientists believe an important component of mental health is the ability to regulate your emotions. Research shows music plays a role in mood maintenance.
In fact, researchers believe it’s a form of psychological self-help. When you choose to listen to music, you actually engage in a psychological assessment regarding your mood and environment.
As you choose the song you want to listen to, you’re actually processing how you feel and how you want to feel. Music is a tool that allows you to maintain your desired mood/emotions.
It also allows you to bridge the gap between your current mood/emotions and the mood/emotions you’d rather have at the moment. Interestingly, researchers explain this psychological assessment often occurs quickly and with very little conscious effort.
So, go on and try it the next time you try to unwind at the end of a long and tiring day. Welcome that calming mood with peaceful, relaxing music.
2. Contributes to Well-Being
Another important component of mental health is psychological well-being.
What is psychological well-being? It refers to an overarching assessment of an individual’s positive mental state, happiness, contentment, and life satisfaction.
Studies show regular musical engagement has a positive impact on psychological well-being. Musical engagement doesn’t necessarily require musical production of any kind, it also includes simply listening to music.
So, listening to music may actually help make you happier. While different genres of music may enhance well-being, relaxing and peaceful music, in particular, may have other psychological benefits.
Apart from its ability to contribute to psychological well-being, it may also help decrease certain negative emotional states such as anxiety and anger. One study, in particular, shows listening to relaxing music helps decrease the anxiety and anger levels of inmates.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your well-being and reduce your anxiety, you may want to try listening to peaceful and relaxing music. Unlike other psychological interventions, it’s uncomplicated and low-risk.
3. Helps Relieve Stress
Studies show chronic stress can contribute to or exacerbate certain health conditions. These health conditions include:
- Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and hypertension
- Upper respiratory diseases such as the common cold
- Auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis
- Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Human immunodeficiency diseases such as HIV and AIDS
- Mental illness such as depression
Most scientists agree that stress, especially chronic stress, can have a negative impact on one’s health. While it’s impossible to live a stress-free life, there are ways you can manage it.
A non-invasive way of managing stress is by listening to peaceful music. One study on healthy women shows peaceful music has an effect on the human stress response.
The participants who listened to relaxing music before attempting a stressful task recovered quicker compared to the participants who didn’t listen to anything. Similar results were found in another study with male students.
In this study, each student did a stressful task and was assigned to recover in a quiet room or a room playing peaceful music. The researchers collected saliva samples before the task and several times during the recovery period.
They analyzed the cortisol levels in the participants’ saliva samples. Cortisol is a hormone the body releases as a response to stressful situations.
The cortisol levels of those who recovered in a quiet room kept increasing for 30 minutes after the stressful task. On the other hand, the cortisol levels of participants who recovered with peaceful music did not increase after the task and also decreased more quickly during the recovery period.
Tip: Create a playlist with peaceful tunes. That way, whenever you’re feeling stressed, all you have to do is put on your headphones and click play!
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4. Improves Pain Tolerance
These days, it’s increasingly important to have non-pharmacological alternatives to help manage pain. Studies show oral pain medication may not always be sufficient.
On top of that, long-term intake of pain medication, such as opioids, may have some unwanted effects. Music is an alternative tool you can use to help manage pain.
Several studies show patients who listen to music during treatment or medical procedures report less pain. In fact, surgery patients who listen to music request less pain medication compared to those who didn’t listen to music.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans show more brain regions—including the limbic, frontal, and auditory regions—are active when participants experience pain while listening to pleasurable music. The activation of other brain regions may mitigate the perception of pain.
Remember, it’s always important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to prescribed treatments. These studies show that listening to music doesn’t take away the pain completely, but it may provide additional relief.
Tip: When choosing music to help with pain management, it’s important to choose the music you enjoy. Choose peaceful tracks that will help promote positive emotions, which in turn may speed up your recovery.
5. Improves Sleep Quality
You can’t deny the importance of sleep and its impact on your overall health. Several studies show poor sleep quality has a negative impact on cardiovascular health, metabolic health, immunologic health, mental health, and even on your daily functioning.
According to the CDC, over 30% of the population isn’t getting the recommended amount of sleep. On top of that, they also reported that 1 out of 25 American adults takes prescription sleeping aids.
Instead of popping a pill to get a good night’s rest, why don’t you try listening to some peaceful sleep music? Researchers in one study compares the effects of relaxing classical music, audiobooks, and silence on sleep quality.
The researchers reported listening to peaceful classical music significantly improves sleep quality, while no improvement was found for the other two groups. Another study explains why people use music as a sleep aid:
- Music can have unique characteristics that help stimulate sleep. Certain types of music can induce moods or mental state which help people transition to sleep more quickly.
- Some people form a habit of listening to music before they sleep, so it becomes an essential component of their sleep routine.
- Some people use music to block other distractions that might disrupt sleep.
It’s important to choose the right type of music to help you sleep. Certain genres may end up overstimulating you and have the opposite effect.
Instead, choose relaxing and peaceful tunes to help lull you to sleep. Regardless of how and why you use music to improve your sleep quality, it’s a low-cost and low-risk sleep aid that’s definitely worth trying!
Music isn’t just good for your soul, but it may be good for your body, too. If you’re looking for alternative ways to improve your physical and mental health, listening to music is a great option.
So load up your music player and don’t forget to have a special playlist with peaceful and relaxing music.
How do you feel when you listen to peaceful music? Let us know in the comments section below.
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