13 Incredible ways music benefits you

1. Listening to happy music at work can help you complete tasks more quickly, especially if you’re doing something repetitive such as checking e-mail or filing documents. One study showed that the accuracy and efficiency of surgeons improved when they worked with the music of their choice in the background. Cornell University researchers also found that upbeat tunes help workers cooperate and make group decisions that contribute to the good of the team.


2. Music decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol just as well as massage therapy does, according to a small 2010 study. Scientists randomly assigned anxious patients to listen to music either during massage therapy or while lying in a dim room. After three months, those who just listened to music experienced the same drop in anxiety as those who also got massages.

3. Listening to music before surgery has been shown to ease anxiety and limit the need for sedatives. After surgery, it helps reduce pain. An analysis of 73 studies published in the Lancet in 2015 confirmed that listening to music before, during, or after surgery improves anxiety and pain levels, which in turn means less pain medication.


4. People come up with more creative solutions when they listen to happy, upbeat music than when they sit in silence, according to researchers from the Netherlands and Australia. It may be because music improves your brain’s flexibility or because it relaxes you enough for the creative juices to flow. But don’t play the music too loudly; research has found that moderate volume provides the creativity sweet spot.


5. When you listen to music, your brain release dopamine the same neurotransmitter that’s released when you eat chocolate or use cocaine. It’s also associated with being in love. One small study found that just the anticipation of knowing that the best part of a song is coming up can get the dopamine flowing.


6. Feel like quitting a workout? Whether you’re running, biking or walking, you’ll go farther if you pump up the jams, studies have found. Music distracts you from your discomfort and motivates you to stay with the heat. The effect is so profound that the author of a 2012 review examining the psychological effects of music on exercise called music “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug”.


7. That rush of energy you feel when you put on your best power song is real. College-age men who were studied doing squats while listening to a favourite song took off more explosively and performed reps greater speeds than those doing them in silence, one study found. People also sprint faster and hold heavy weights longer when listening to music.


8. Lullabies aren’t just for babies. Listening to music before bed can help you fall asleep faster, wake up less often during the night and feel more rested in the morning, according to the National Sleep Foundation, USA. In one study conducted in Taiwan, seniors with sleep problems who listened to 45minutes of soft, slow music before bed reported a 35% improvement in the during of their shut-eye and less dysfunction throughout the day.


9. Music has been used to heal for centuries, and now we’re learning why it works. The latest meta-analysis of 400 studies finds that listening to music promotes the body’s production of antibody( called immunoglobulin A) that attacks viruses and bacteria, as well as ‘natural killer cells’, which kill invading viruses and cancerous cells.


10. Time does fly when you’re listening to music: scientists have shown repeatedly that people judge a period of waiting as shorter when music is playing. The retailer uses that to their advantage, playing music so you stay longer and spend more. For instance, more drinks and food are sold in bars and restaurants when music ( especially slow music) is played. And grocery sales increase by 38% when the background music is slow.


11. Listening to music that brings you joy causes blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow and improving cardiovascular health, a University of Maryland study found. The average upper-arm blood vessel diameter of people in the study increased by 26% after listening to joyful music. A separate review of 26 studies covering almost 1400 heart disease patients found music reduced heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety.


12. In one study, adults who focused on childhood melodies while receiving safe electric shocks reduced their pain 17% overall. Other studies show that music may cut down pain for fibromyalgia and cancer patients it works on kids too: children who listened to soothing and/or upbeat music while having an IV inserted reported less pain and distress compared with those who had the procedure in silence, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics.


13. Maybe you’ve heard about Alzheimer’s patients coming alive when they hear a song from their past. Studies show that music helps them retrieve memories, communicate more effectively, and remember who they are. Singing is particularly powerful: George Mason University researchers demonstrated that Alzheimer’s patients who regularly belt out their favourites may boost their cognitive function over time.


Source: Readers Digest