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Tune in to the benefits of music

A twisting ribbon of musical notes

Feb. 14, 2022— You don't need to be a trained opera singer or pianist to get major health benefits from music. Research shows that having music in your life is highly therapeutic for everyone. It can give your mood a boost, ease pain and help you unwind.

Whether you're a fan of classical or country, you probably already enjoy your favorite tunes throughout the day. Here are some fun and easy ways to make music an even bigger part of your life—and improve your well-being while doing it:

During exercise. Olympic athletes listening to their favorite pump-up songs aren't just having fun, they're using a science-backed tool. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), music can help boost your performance—and your heart rate—during exercise.

And that's not the only benefit of a good workout song. Music distracts you from the unpleasant parts of working out. Because music makes exercising more enjoyable, it helps motivate you to hit the gym more often—so you'll live longer and have a higher quality of life.

In a choir—or car. There's a reason so many people love singing in the shower—it makes you feel good! The AHA reports that singing can help you relieve stress. So if you're stuck in traffic, why not sing along to your favorite playlist? Joining a choir has added benefits: It's great way to make friends.

When you're sad or grieving. Music can be a terrific pick-me-up on a gloomy day, and it even helps grief-stricken people. According to the AHA, people who lost a loved one had less depression and higher levels of well-being when they sang. Singing a song you know can trigger your brain to release dopamine and oxytocin, hormones that boost your mood.

Before bed. The American Psychological Association reports that listening to and playing music lower your body's levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Just like lullabies are a universal tool for soothing babies, relaxing music can help people of all ages calm down so they can get a good night's sleep.

An important reminder

Enjoy your music—but keep an eye on the volume. Protecting your hearing now can help you enjoy the pleasure of music for a lifetime.

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The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.