Music is everywhere. Whether you are stuck in daily traffic, working out at the gym for that summer body, or shopping at the mall for those pants that fit just right, chances are you are listening to music. We’ve all got a song that gets us moving or a song that makes us shed a tear; that song that makes us feel like a professional rapper or that song that gets us to dance like no one’s watching. I mean, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been that person stopped at a red light jamming to a favorite tune while the lady in the next car over stares in horror. The beautiful thing about music is that it has the ability to trigger a myriad of memories and emotions with a single note. Whether we realize it or not, we all have a very personal relationship with music. You probably remember your wedding song, the song of your very first concert, or even the theme song of your favorite childhood TV show. We constantly associate music with little moments in life and we continue to remember these moments because of music.
Music, however, can do so much more than remind you of the good old times. Music can be used as a type of therapy to aid with several mental and physical health issues. Several studies have been conducted, and many are still being conducted, to help explain the importance of music therapy and its many benefits.
First and foremost, music therapy is a great way to relieve stress. Music serves as a distraction, therefore allowing our mind to focus on the notes and the lyrics instead of dwelling on the stressors. Furthermore, music allows us to be more in touch with our emotions, making it easier for us to express them instead of keeping them bottled in. Most importantly, music creates a calm and comfortable environment that allows for deep and steady breathing, therefore lowering stress and anxiety levels.
In addition to managing stress, music therapy can be extremely helpful in improving sleep quality. Insomnia is a health condition that can be commonly caused by stress, causing many to have sleepless nights. We tend to reflect on the day’s activities right before bed and while some of us may fall asleep after a few minutes, others may continue to dwell on every little detail and become fixated on situations that cause stress, worry, and even panic. Listening to music serves as a type of meditation. Music allows you to clear your mind. Those who suffer from insomnia will often have music playing softly in the background as they drift to sleep. Studies have indicated that listening to music for five to thirty minutes before bed time can increase sleep quality and sleep duration in adults who suffer from insomnia.
Lowering stress levels and improving sleep quality are only two of the many benefits that music therapy has to offer. Those who suffer from depression, cancer, and autism rely on music to ease their symptoms. With the help of highly trained music therapists, these people are able to forget about the negative aspects of their lives and solely focus on the beat and the rhythm. Additionally, music therapy has become an important tool for those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Music can help us forget about our problems, our worries, and our fears. It allows us to live in the moment and pushes us out of our comfort zones. Through it, we are able to laugh, cry, shout, jump, dance and become part of the song. Music therapy will continue to play a crucial role in society and it’s exciting to see just how much music can impact our lives.