Research has shown that listening to music improves physical and mental health. Daily relaxation, including music, leads to improved concentration, better sleep, and relief of chronic pain. It also enhances memory and eliminates stress.
Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns
Music therapy is an officially recognized method of psychotherapy that works by listening to music, playing musical instruments, singing, and immersing oneself into the haling properties that music holds.
Research from many universities has found that music therapy helps fight depression and reduces emotional problems in children and adolescents. Through music therapy, subjects learn to listen, process and thus communicate with their peers, as they do so, their communication and cognitive abilities can start to improve.
Music Lovers in Some Countries Crave Relaxing Songs
If you analyze the interactive chart showing the most popular songs on music charts in 22 countries on five continents in the last decade, you’ll see that in some countries people tend to listen to more relaxing music. For example, music lovers in South Africa, the UK, and Portugal have chosen music with the lowest average energy score (maximum value is 100): 58/100, 61/100, and also 61/100, respectively. Furthermore, Portugal has the slowest tempo in its No. 1 songs at just 104 BPM (beats per minute).
As for individual tracks, even the lowest in the energy of those on the 22 charts, Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” (5/100) managed to top one chart – the Swedish chart – for as many as eight weeks.
So are people in some countries more relaxed based not only on lifestyle but the music they listen to?
A specific type of music can help you concentrate better. Instrumental music is what allows people the most to relax and focus. Instead of 20 to 25 minutes, listening to this music, people can have full concentration for nearly an hour and a half. Many studies have shown that this music has a positive effect on mood.
We have all been affected by music. Whether it causes you to relax and unwind, become emotions and reflective, or just feel energized, so you get up and dance, music has a massive part in changing and affecting our moods, with that, it can also help you find focus.
Improves the Quality of Sleep
A gentle lullaby or ballad can help you fall asleep but can also help you sleep better. Some studies, albeit a small number, have shown that people who listen to light music as they are falling asleep or during the night spend up to 30 % more time in a deep sleep. And this is precisely the phase of sleep when memories are “imprinted” in the brain. It’s essential in this sense that music has low tones because they “encourage the brain to slow down”.
Low Frequencies for Pain
Music acts on the same neural networks as painkillers and stimulates the brain to produce natural opioids on its own. Thus, for example, patients who listened to music during operations needed one third less morphine than those who didn’t. Some research has even shown that people are less anxious and less afraid of pain in this condition.
While this may not be proven time and time again, we do know the power that music holds.
It happens that, for example, people who are in advanced stages of dementia still remember songs from childhood and can play instruments they learned in childhood, even if they can’t recognize members of their closest family. High tones are the ones that have a good effect on memory, and it’s best to listen to music for half an hour to an hour.
There’s a reason we remember every fire alarm and amber alert.
Listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, slow down the heart, and alleviate anxiety, as well as to improve mood. Soothing music helps unconscious patients. It hasn’t been determined accurately which music best relieves stress, but all studies were conducted with slower, classical music.
So the next time you go to press play, think about what mood you’d like to be in, what you’re looking to get out of your listening experience and maybe how music can help you.
What will you add to your playlist?