Have you ever wondered why you feel so great when listening to your favorite track or tuning in to your favorite radio station?
Music can trigger a variety of chemical reactions in your brain that contribute to relaxation. From reducing stress hormones to stimulating feelings of happiness, music can almost instantly translate to a good mood. These feel-good effects also produce a number of positive long-term benefits for your body, such as lower stress and anxiety levels, better sleep patterns, and improved overall health and well-being.
So, it’s not just in your head – the tunes you listen to greatly impact your mood. Read on to find out the science behind the relaxing effects of music.
3 Ways Music Aids in Relaxation
Music Reduces Stress-Related Hormones
Studies have found that listening to music can lower your body’s levels of cortisol, a hormone that can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.
For example, in high-stress situations such as surgery, music has been proven to keep patients’ stress levels under control. In one study, researchers found that patients who listened to music while undergoing surgery had lower levels of cortisol when compared to patients who didn’t listen to music during the procedure.
As a result of stress and anxiety reduction, music can also contribute to better sleep habits. Listening to music before going to bed has been shown to improve sleeping patterns and can be used to treat insomnia. Since sleeping is another natural stress-reducer, the cycle of listening to music to reduce stress will also result in lower stress levels experienced as a result of better sleep habits.
Music Has Therapeutic Effects on Your Brain
According to researchers, listening to music can alter brainwave speed, producing brain activity that has a therapeutic effect on the mind and body.
Similar to meditation and even hypnotism, slow rhythmic music alters brain activity in a way that induces a trance-like state similar to that of meditation, which encourages relaxation.
As a result, music’s ability to alter brainwave speed can also help ease symptoms of migraines, PMS, depression and certain behavioral issues including attention deficit disorder.
Music Stimulates Feelings of Happiness
Listening to your favorite music can also trigger hormones in your body that translate to an instant good mood.
According to researchers, listening to music triggers the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness and excitement.
Particularly, listening to new music, rather than the same old playlist, results in the largest production of dopamine and happiness. When you listen to the same music repeatedly, you aren’t likely to experience the same effects as when you discover new music, according to research.
The Best Type of Music for Relaxation
As mentioned above, the type of music you listen to affects your body in different ways, which can result in different moods.
Just as fast, upbeat music may provide a burst of energy while exercising, slower music has been shown to be more relaxing. Classical music, in particular, can help slow the pulse and heart rate, as well as decrease levels of stress hormones. So, if you’re looking to wind down after a long day, opt for slower instrumental, classical, or ambient music.
The Best Audio Equipment to Help You Relax
We feel the best way to enjoy and really benefit from the scientific effects that music has on your body is by listening to your favorite songs on high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones from Audio-Technica.
Our QuietPoint® Noise-Cancelling Headphones eliminate noise, giving you focus and balance. They strike an elegant chord of premium sound quality, active noise cancellation, and comfort. With QuietPoint Noise-Cancelling Headphones, you can hear everything as it as intended. And absolutely nothing else.