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The Benefits of Listening to Music

Humans have been listening to music for a very long time. Do you need proof? Consider the Neanderthal Flute. Discovered in 1995 in a cave in Slovenia, this ancient instrument was carved from the bone of a cave bear and played at least 50,000 years ago. It’s the world’s oldest musical instrument, yet when scientists created a clay replica, they found that it is capable of playing notes that match the modern music scale. While they might not have been able to pinpoint the exact details, it seems likely that people have appreciated the benefits of listening to music for a long, long time.

The Benefits of Listening to Music

Music is often associated with fun or comfort. And while playing or listening to tunes can certainly be entertaining, it also offers something more. In fact, the benefits of listening to music stretch to include your physical, mental, and emotional health. Isn’t it amazing when something that you enjoy is also good for you?

Listening to Music Fosters Social Connections

People are social creatures, and music helps make connections. According to Healthline, researchers believe early humans might have used music as a form of communication. Now, songs continue to connect people across various social and age groups. National anthems unite the population of a country. Tunes that were popular at a particular time form a bond between people of a similar age. Lullabies and children’s songs connect parents and children. Meanwhile, hymns and other religious songs form a foundation for congregations.

Listening to Music Is Good for Heart Health

There are lots of things you can do to improve your heart health. Listening to some music just might be the easiest. NorthShore University Health System reports that listening to music can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart rate. As an added bonus, it boosts serotonin and endorphin levels.

Listening to Music Increases Happiness

You may have noticed that listening to music can boost your mood. Live for Live Music explains one reason why: dopamine. If you spend just 15 minutes listening to music that you like, then your body will release enough of the neurotransmitter to create rewarding feelings of happiness.

Listening to Music Decreases Stress

Stress is a major factor in many chronic diseases, so managing it effectively is nothing to sneeze at. As LifeHack reports, listening to music can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Would you like to increase the benefit? Try making your own music or getting some exercise by dancing along.

Listening to Music Improves Learning and Memory

When you want to stimulate the brain, doctors at Johns Hopkins suggest listening to music; Healthline reports that they’ve watched via MRI as the sound of music lit up participants’ brains in studies. Music, as long as it’s not a distraction, can make learning easier. It can also help improve memory. In fact, music therapy is being used to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While it doesn’t reverse memory loss, there’s hope that it may help slow some forms of cognitive decline.

Listening to Music Helps Manage Pain

Pain can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Medications are available, but their impact is limited, and the potential side effects are worrisome. As VeryWellMind indicates, music offers a drug-free way to manage pain that can be surprisingly effective. Multiple studies have shown that patients who battle chronic pain who opt to listen to music fare better with regards to pain than their peers who forgo music. Patients who undergo surgery and reach for music experience the same benefit.

Listening to Music Improves Sleep

As LifeHack notes, listening to music can be especially helpful for the 30 percent of Americans who suffer from insomnia. Studies show that letting relaxing music play while you drift off can help you sleep more soundly.

The benefits of listening to music are numerous. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you prefer. Whether you’re tuning in to listen to the songs that you’ve loved forever or always searching for something new to listen to, you’ll still get to enjoy the same fantastic mix of advantages that comes with listening to music.
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