What are the benefits of listening to music?

If you want to feel happy, less stressed and more energetic, flip on your stereo. Whether you love Bach, Lady Gaga or The Beatles, music that makes you feel good increases your heart and breathing rates and makes your brain release dopamine, a lovely feel-good neurotransmitter. Plus, no matter whether you enjoy listening to your favorite music alone or with friends, it will more than likely give you the mood boost you're looking for.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Here are 5 health benefits (inspired by Josh Rouse, Louis Armstrong, Aaliyah, Azn Dreamers, and the Go-Go's, respectively) to listening to music:
  • "Feeling No Pain" -- Great sounds can distract you from pain, including pain from arthritis or an injury, or post-surgery. Voila! You feel better. Music is particularly helpful if you're also anxious -- and who wouldn't be with chronic pain?
  • "Bye Bye Blues" -- Music stimulates release of mood-enhancing brain chemicals, such as the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can ease depression and burnout so you feel more upbeat.
  • "I Care 4 You" -- If you're caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, bring some tunes. Music can help decrease anxiety and depression, which often accompany the condition.
  • "Fixing a Broken Heart" -- Recuperating from heart surgery? Tunes may help reduce blood pressure, ease anxiety, lower heart rate and breathing rate, and ease pain.
  • "Get Up and Go" -- Don't have the motivation to work out? Harness the benefits of upbeat music for your heart, bones, brain, and more. You'll go further, with more intensity and less discomfort.
Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
A Michigan State University study shows that listening to music for only fifteen minutes increases the blood's level of Interluken-1,a family of proteins associated with blood and platelet production and cellular protection against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), cancer, and many other diseases. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that half of the mothers who listen to music during childbirth do not require anesthesia. Music is used in hospitals and nursing homes to soothe the anxious and lull the restless to sleep.

Corporations have found that music can be used in the workplace to increase efficiency, cut training time, and increase output; one study shoes that a group of workers listening to music increased productivity over 21 percent. Restaurants have long used music to provide a friendly environment that will give their patrons a positive dining experience and stimulate digestion.

Music has an immediate effect on our emotions: it stimulates the pituitary gland and increases levels of endorphins, the brain's natural "feel good" chemicals, thereby alleviating fatigue and mild depression. A scientist at Stanford found in a recent study that half his subjects experienced euphoria while listening to music. Consider the ways you can use music in your life to boost your productivity, increase your energy, or relax and restore your body.
Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.