Music has been shown to improve mood, reduce pain and anxiety, and increase opportunities for emotional expression. One of the most important functions of music, according to researchers, is to create a sense of cohesion or social connectedness. According to evolutionary scientists, humans may have developed a dependence on music as a medium of communication because our ancestors evolved from arboreal species — tree-dwellers who communicated across the canopy. Our hospice and palliative care board-certified music therapist uses music therapy to supplement conventional treatment for a wide range of illnesses and disease processes, from anxiety, depression, and stress management to pain management and functional enhancement following degenerative neurologic disorders.
The Spiritual Care and Support team at Bhardwaj Music Academy highlights some of the health and well-being benefits of music:
It's Good for Your Heart: According to studies, when music is played, blood flows more easily. It can also lower blood pressure, lower cortisol (the stress hormone), and increase serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood.
It Improves One's Mood: Music can increase dopamine production in the brain. This increased dopamine production alleviates anxiety and depression symptoms. The amygdala, the part of the brain involved in mood and emotions, processes music directly.
It Reduces Stress: According to research, listening to music can reduce stress by activating biochemical stress reducers.
It Alleviates depression symptoms: Music, like exercise, can help lift your spirits when you're feeling down.
Stimulates the memory: Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's or dementia, music therapy has been shown to alleviate some of its symptoms. Music therapy can help patients relax, improve their mood, and open up communication.
It Helps Reduce Pain: Music therapy can help with pain management by reducing stress and providing a strong competing stimulus to the pain signals that enter the brain.
It Manages Pain: Music has been shown to significantly reduce the perceived intensity of pain, particularly in geriatric care, intensive care, and palliative medicine.
It Encourages People to Eat Less: Playing soft music (and dimming the lights) in the background during a meal can help people slow down and consume less food in one sitting.
It Boosts Workout Endurance: Listening to those top workout tracks can improve physical performance and endurance during a strenuous workout session.
Here is some relaxing music for you to listen to:
The natural world has an inherent wisdom that cannot be expressed in words. Music and sound draw our attention to the majesty and mystery of nature, both of which have been shown to improve one's health and well-being. The Chicago Botanic Garden's Theodore C. Butz Memorial Carillon inspired the "Bells in the Garden" playlist. Several recordings of classic carillons are included, as well as a kaleidoscope of melodic percussion from cultures all over the world. Take a deep breath and listen to music and sounds that will help you focus on the natural world and yourself.
Music continues to be a powerful means of bringing people together:
National anthems bring crowds together at sporting events.
During marches, protest songs instil a sense of common purpose.
Hymns foster group identity in places of worship.
Love songs can help prospective partners bond during the courtship process.
Lullabies help parents and infants form secure attachments.