Music and Mood: Groove for Your Mental Health
What’s your favorite kind of music? Is it pop? Rock? Hip Hop? Or maybe you like to relax with a glass of red wine and enjoy some classical music by Mozart or Beethoven. Whether you love The Beatles, Tupac, or Bach, there's some good news for music lovers. Listening to music can work wonders for your mood and mental health.
Humans have been making music for more than 40,000 years. It’s like we, as a species, are naturally drawn to the joys and wonders (and grooves and melodies!) of music. But does our love of music go beyond simple entertainment? In addition to being a great opportunity for escape from stress and boredom, music has real proven connections to our mind’s wellbeing. It all comes down to the science of the brain.
Music - and especially music that touches us individually, giving us feelings of happiness or excitement - is known to cause a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that puts us in a good mood. This can help explain why music can be used to change or enhance the tone of an environment. Relaxing music can help people unwind at the spa, while upbeat music can drum up extra motivation during a morning jog.
Some therapists even use something called “music therapy,” in which the patient and therapist listen together and discuss what was learned or felt from the music and lyrics.
Music affects us more than just adding dopamine to the mix. Music can evoke potent memories which helps us understand our former selves and have feelings of nostalgia. It can strengthen interpersonal relationships as friends, couples, families, listen to songs that everyone likes.
In times of uncertainty and stress music can be used by everyone, using relaxing or cheerful music to turn a sad mood to a happy one, or an anxious mood into a relaxed one.
So how can you add more music into your life for stress reduction and cheer? Well, it’s easy and fun to find times to listen to your favorite artists! Maybe you have a doctor’s appointment...well, good news! Music perceptually shortens wait times, makes us calmer. Grab some headphones or earbuds and all of a sudden you can play DJ in the doctor’s waiting room! You can also listen in your car, at home, in the bath, during your morning exercise. There’s always time to let music set the tone of the day in a positive direction.
Music has a wide range of benefits. Couples may have more fun together listening and dancing to music. Kids can learn about life and culture. Mental health sufferers can find solace and peace. And we can all have a lot of fun while grooving.
If a simple tune isn’t enough to help you, never fear! Bregman Medical Group has decades of experience treating various disorders. We offer online or in-person treatment. Simple schedule online at www.bregmanmd.com or call 305-740-3340.