Music and Mental Health
It can be heard in many songs, the deep depressions and crippling bursts of anxiety that many artists have suffered from in their lives. Music is a wonderful way to express yourself, and taking the time to listen to it could actually benefit your mental health. Now, it’s not entirely what you think, as plugging in some sad tunes may actually make you feel worse, but it is interesting to see how music can impact our minds — as well as the kind we should take some time to listen to. Let’stalk about music and mental health.
Music and Anxiety
When you listen to music, your cortisol levels decrease with every beat. This is responsible for lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. As you listen to the music, a more relaxed environment is created, and one that promotes a slower rate of breathing, as well as calmer and more tranquil thoughts. It’s not an instant fix though, and the longer you spend kicking back and listening to some calming tunes, the better you are going to feel.
Music and Depression
Much like with anxiety, lowered blood pressure when you are feeling depressed can be incredibly helpful, as that relaxed environment is the perfect place to get a good mood boost. As you spend time listening to the music you have chosen, you will also experience increases in levels of serotonin, and this is what makes us feel happy. Depression causes an imbalance, and so music can be a great way to try and tilt the serotonin levels back in your favor.
The Best Music to Listen to
Which music should you be listening to though? When talking about anxiety and depression, there are some styles that should be on the top of your list (and others that you need to downright avoid).
For anxiety, Marconi Union’s Weightless is the perfect song. It is made up of a series of harmonies that have been carefully arranged and consist of beats and rhythms that have been designed to slow your heart rate and reduce the amount of cortisol being produced by your body. If this isn’t your thing, however, songs with a slow and steady beat (think Coldplay and Adele) are excellent choices too.
If you are listening to music while feeling depressed, research shows that sad songs are not what you should be playing. You may love them, but they could be making you feel worse instead of better. They can lower your mood, and so the best choice would be to play something that is more upbeat and positive. As much as the song may annoy you, Happy by Pharrell Williams is a great one to play when you are feeling really down. When depression hits, think of happy songs to listen to when you get your phone out.
Research shows that music can be incredibly beneficial to us when suffering from mental health conditions. Depression and anxiety can be tough to beat. But it is amazing what music can do to help us achieve a better state of mind and thought. It can leave us feeling calmer and more relaxed. It even increases the amount of serotonin produced by our brains so that our chemical imbalance is little more normal than it was.
If you found this interesting and want to know more about the way music can help mental health, as well as learn what music therapy is, we have an extensive article on the topic that you can read.
About the Author
Will is a freelance writer & blogger. If you are interested in more information on music therapy, audio guides, and gear reviews, be sure to check out Will’s audio guides here .
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