Music & Your Mood
I’ll start off by saying that I am by no means a music aficionado, the cheesier the better in my opinion! However, what I do know is that the world would be a significantly different place without music and it’s probably not given enough credit for the impact that it has on our well-being.
Aside from the deliberate choices we make to listen to a new album or go to musicals, concerts, DJs or festivals, we probably take for granted how much music helps us to get through the day. I know the daily commute would feel a lot slower if there weren’t some tunes playing on the radio, we’d miss the backing tracks on TV shows or films and a run, or a spin class might not have as much energy without a playlist.
Here are just some of the reasons why music can improve your well-being:
- Stress reduction from choir singing – I first heard about this from a friend of mine in Toronto who has joined a group called Choir! Choir! Choir! She was back in Dublin recently and was talking about the fact that she gets endorphins from a few hours belting out some tunes with the group. We have something similar in Dublin called the Casual Choir which is a drop in/ pop-up type experience, which promotes fun, a sense of belonging, connection and community as well as a release from the stress of the day.
- Dopamine release from listening to your favourite songs – a pharmacological study earlier this year suggests that more of the “happy hormone”, dopamine, is released when we listen to the songs we love.
- Evoking memories from the past – studies have shown that familiar music has the capacity to set off a mental movie in our heads about people, places, feelings etc. from the past, be they happy or painful. There are potential therapeutic benefits to this as well as an aid to patients with acquired brain injuries.
- Making exercise more palatable – the entrainment (our bodies moving to the rhythm around us) can potentially make high intensity exercise a less enduring experience for those who don’t exercise much.
- Dancing to music makes us happy – it causes pleasure, relaxes our muscles as well as the social impact it has on us through connecting with others. Overall it improves our mood!
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – I’m sure there are tonnes of other ways that music plays a positive part in each of our lives, be it listening to it, playing an instrument, singing, dancing etc.
If you need help focusing on any aspect of your well-being, please give me a shout. Elaine x