Could Music Be A Cure For Mental Health?
Have you ever heard a song that completely relates to your life and think that song must just be written for you? It is comforting to the soul hearing these lyrics when you yourself are feeling the exact same emotion.
As mental health is becoming an increasingly frequent issue amongst the youth of today, it is important to know the ins and outs of what can help. Mental health disorders include; anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia and eating disorders.
Two girls feeling happy whilst listening to music. Image credit: K-178-Ae-04030-id-419990 by rawpixel.com via Flickr
Brain imaging shows that different types of music affect the emotion regulation processes of the brain. Emotion regulation is key to dealing with mental health as poor emotion regulation can sadly lead to mood disorders such as depression.
Benefits of Music:
Whether you’re a shower singer or a professional musician, both listening to and creating music can have a variety of positive effects on your mental health state. It can:
- Increase motivation
- Elevate mood
- Relax the mind
- Increase the efficiency of brain processing
- Reduce loneliness and isolation feelings
- Increase confidence
- Lower blood pressure by enhancing the body’s relaxed state
- Increase immunity
- Alleviate tension
- Motivate stress management
Music for Different Moods:
Here are some top tips for how you can use music depending on what type of mood you’re in:
- Concentration – If you need to concentrate on say, doing your homework, classical music has been proven to work best in this area. Science has proven that music with a tempo of 60 beats per minute helps increase brain efficiency and keeps you feeling focused.
- Relaxation – Peaceful pop and yoga music has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and agitation. This type of music has a slower beat and a simple rhythm and often helps troubled sleepers and calms heart-rate. It quietens the mind and relaxes your muscles.
- Happiness – Songs that remind you of fun times can boost your happiness levels. These are commonly found in rock and pop genres. They have upbeat tempos and are usually in major keys.
- Motivation – If you really need to finish an assignment and need a little bit of help to get motivated, songs that are upbeat but have consistent tempos help to regulate the body’s heartbeat and breathing. This keeps you driven to face anything that comes your way.
- Social connection and creativity – Songs with moderate noise levels allows you to think clearer and inspire you let your creative side express itself.
- Anger – Music that features angry lyrics can help you vent your frustrations as you can sing along with the lyrics. These types of songs make you feel understood and not alone.
- Confidence – Songs with an important message and a good beat are great for boosting confidence levels. They help remind you of your own capabilities and skills, motivating you to stay positive.
- Movers and shakers – Energising, upbeat songs (especially karaoke tunes) help you to keep going even when you feel fatigued. They are especially great when going to the gym or doing household work.
However, it is important to be aware of the effect that music has on your state of mind. You don’t want the type of music you are listening to, to prolong negative feelings. The key is always to do what makes you happy. So make sure you listen to music that makes you feel good about yourself as it is about what you find enjoyable and meaningful.
More links for interested readers:
- https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_gupta_between_music_and_medicine?language=en – t-48154