Music has provided entertainment and joy in a way that no other medium can ever achieve, making us sing and dance at concerts, in nightclubs or (more recently) in the comforts of our own homes with a couple of takeaway cocktails!
However music is much more than that, and there's plenty of science out there to back it up. It has been directly linked with having multiple benefits for our mental wellbeing such as improving focus, helping relaxation and what we are looking to focus on the most here: relieving stress and anxiety. We are by no means experts in this field, but we would like to share with you some examples and resources of music improving certain parts of our lives.
Music as a Stress and Anxiety Reliever
We can't usually predict when we are going to be stressed or feel a wave of anxiety come over us, but when they do music can be a good way to counter it. Peter Carpenter, a Music Therapist at Michigan University Hospital, has wrote an article which includes 6 ways to use music as a way to ease Stress and Anxiety:
1. Listen with a purpose: When you're anxious or worried, use music to redirect those thoughts and feelings.
2. Match your mood: When you notice your mood is low, listen to music that first matches how you feel. Next, pick songs that change your mood over time.
3. Start a music journal: Journaling is a process that collects thoughts and feelings. By writing down those feelings, you can improve focus on the now rather than worry or pain.
4.Listen to something new: Listening to new music can activate your mind in a productive and interesting way. You could even try to find new things in familiar songs. Did you notice something about the words or the background singers? Really try to make every song new again to you.
5. Try something new: Pull out that guitar or ukulele from under your bed and learn a new skill. Trying something new can energise and motivate you.
6. Talk to a music therapist: Music therapists are there to support you as experts on how to use music to accomplish any of your goals.
We have comprised our our own stress relief Playlist on Spotify, with songs that are scientifically proven to relax and help soothe any tension or anxiety you are feeling. Listen: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1FnSh7EALx8szN9iIIhgtR?si=j_gePxQoRP2iXkPyancpPg
Musics other Powers
There are numerous studies now out there that suggests music can provide relief in pain during and after surgeries. The book 'Music Health and Well-being' by Raymond MacDonald, Gunter Kreutz, and Laura Mitchell goes into detail about examples where music has helped children overcome pain from dental and medical operations. If you suffer with any pains throughout the night (e.g back pain) then there are many compilations of soothing music you can play while you sleep such as this one:
Music has shown to improve performance in both physical activities such as sport, but also in work and academic settings. According to a study led by sports psychologist Karageorghis, music showed to increase physical output and also allow the subjects to exercise for longer without showing fatigue. Heres a fantastic TED talk by Neuroscientist and musician Alan Harvey on the positive effects of music