usic is powerful.
From releasing stress, to improving sleep and strengthening cognitive abilities - music has an incredible impact on our brain. In this article, we'll cover some of the most powerful ways music can change your brain.
Music can strengthen your memory.
Do you know what's the best thing about music? It can help you remember things.
If you're struggling with memory loss, playing music can help strengthen your ability to recall memories. According to a recent study, listening to music helps people recall more information than when they are exposed to no sound at all.
In this study, researchers from Northwestern University found that participants who listened to music had an easier time remembering objects compared to those who listened to no sound at all. This effect was especially pronounced for older adults, who tend to have more trouble with memory and recall than younger adults do.
Researchers believe that listening to music may help improve our ability to memorize new information by enhancing our abilities for spatial processing and imagery—which are both crucial skills for learning new things.
Music may reduce stress and anxiety.
You may have noticed that you feel calmer and more relaxed when you listen to music. Studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in some people.
In one study, researchers had participants undergo stressful situations while listening to different types of music. They found that classical music helped decrease levels of arousal—a key component of stress—in the subjects' bodies compared with other genres such as rock or jazz. This type of research suggests that listening to classical tunes could help calm an anxious mind by taking away any nervous energy.
Music can help you sleep better.
Listening to music before bed can help you relax, which can help you fall asleep faster. Some people use music to help them sleep better if they have insomnia or sleep apnea.
Music has been shown in studies to enhance slow-wave brain activity, which makes it easier for you to get more restful sleep.
Music can help you focus.
Music can help you focus on a specific task, especially if it's something you find difficult or tedious. When you're listening to music that has a steady rhythm, like classical or jazz, your brain begins to synchronize with it automatically. This means that instead of being distracted by everything else going on around you—the sound of a blender whirring in the kitchen or an airplane flying overhead—your mind is tuned in and able to concentrate solely on what needs doing.
This effect is important not just for completing chores, but also for tackling challenging tasks. Even if you're not particularly musical yourself (and therefore don't enjoy classical music), some studies suggest that having someone else play music while working might be just as effective at improving your ability to focus as listening alone would be!
While research is still underway to understand music’s impact on the brain, it’s clear there’s a powerful connection.
Listening to music stimulates the brain in many ways, from memory recall and focus to sleep and mood. Next time you feel anxious or can’t sleep, try listening to some soothing tunes or favorite old songs. In fact, you don’t even have to be awake for it—listening during REM sleep can help your brain consolidate memories. Even if you don’t find yourself suffering from stress or anxiety, it might be worth giving music a chance anyway, just so that you can maintain a healthy mind and body as well as having fun.
If you want to take what you learned and put it into action,
watch our class linked here: Coping with Stress Using Music & Movement