Studies show that listening to music can make a positive impact on your mind and body. Learn more about the biggest reported health benefits of music.
From musicians to casual listeners, listening to music is a transformative experience that makes us feel fulfilled, happy, relaxed, motivated, creative and energized—the list goes on. But the true benefits of music extend even further. Several studies reveal how music positively affects our bodies and minds in a measurable, scientific way. Keep reading to learn all about the health benefits of music and the specific impact it has on our minds and bodies.
Lay back, unwind and let your troubles drift away. It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that listening to music is a relaxing way to pass the time and that it allows the mind and body to relieve themselves of stress.
Everyone experiences stress to some degree, and it’s not always bad. In fact, stress is, in the right amounts, a good thing. If we didn’t have any stress, we wouldn’t feel compelled to find shelter from the elements when we’re cold or finish that work assignment on time. While minor instances of stress are a normal part of daily life, feeling under pressure every waking moment isn’t. To take the edge off, try listening to music.
Uplifting or relaxing music inspires a feeling of positivity and eases the tension from your body. Findings from a 2007 randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of South Alabama found that listening to classical music significantly reduces negative emotions when dealing with stressful situations. Evidence also suggests music can help you manage stress before it happens. According to the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University, music has a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system and helps the mind and body recover from stress faster.
So when tensions are getting high or life feels overwhelming, listen to music to bring your world back into balance.
We come across a lot of distractions throughout the day, and sometimes it can be hard to tune out the noise and focus our attention. Music is a great tool for keeping your mind locked on what matters, whether you’re studying, working or exercising.
Think about the last time you tried to focus while countless distractions kept popping up—it’s difficult, to say the least. When these situations arise, music is your greatest ally. Everyone has different musical tastes, but instrumental music, or any genre without lyrics, is perfect for focus. In addition to classical and ambient music, the lo-fi “study beats” genre is a great example.
Listening to music is more beneficial than sitting in silence because music engages your mind. The Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences published a study in 2016 that shows college students performed better while listening to music rather than sitting in silence. The results suggest that listening to music may improve concentration and academic performance.
Staying focused is even easier with earbuds that feature passive isolation. Whether you’re tackling a work project or studying for a big exam, listening to music with UE FITS can help you get the job done, thanks to their ability to block up to -12dB of unwanted noise.
Improve Your Memory
Music is like a multi-vitamin for your brain that helps it stay sharp. Listening to music can improve your memory by helping your mind recall emotions, people, places and information.
Any style of music can do wonders for your brain health, but classical and ambient music are common in music therapy programs. Listening to these genres is believed to put the mind in a focused state that improves cognitive functions related to memory and learning.
Medical professionals and therapists are studying the cognitive benefits of music to minimize the effects of memory loss. For example, researchers from Nara University have reported positive results from using music therapy programs to treat dementia in Alzheimer's patients.
Stay Heart Healthy
There’s a strong connection between music and cardiovascular health. Listening to music improves blood flow, relaxes arteries and helps regulate heart rate after physical activity.
If you’ve been to a concert—and we assume you all have—you already know how music can move the body physically and emotionally. That’s because the different elements of music, including tempo and melody, can affect parts of the brain that influence the heart.
But we’re not just talking about anecdotal evidence here. Real scientific studies back up our real-world experiences. After examining multiple studies that report positive cardiovascular changes from hearing music, cardiology specialists from the University of Bochum concluded that music can be used for patients with cardiovascular problems in a multitude of ways. The report references other findings that show positive correlations between listening to orchestral music and cardiovascular signals. Cheerios, eat your heart out!
Boost Your Exercise Performance
You don’t need a personal fitness trainer to stay motivated during workouts. When you’re at the gym or jogging around the neighborhood, listening to a workout playlist will boost performance.
Electrifying guitars spark excitement, deep EDM basslines shake the room, and vocalists make bold lyrical statements—music is motivating. The National Center for Health Research says adding music to your workout routine will help achieve the right mindset for your fitness goals and allow you to withstand longer workouts.
Want to build the perfect workout playlist? There are no rules! Choose whatever music inspires you to be your best.
Energize Your Mood
Brain fog, burn-out, fatigue—mental exhaustion has a few different names, but everyone goes through it at some point. Music is a simple solution for when you’re feeling “meh.”
Music affects our moods every day. It’s used in advertisements, movies, grocery stores, restaurants, video games and more for the explicit purpose of manipulating our moods, and it’s a very effective strategy. There’s a relationship between music, psychology and behavior—music influences our thoughts, feelings and actions.
The positive impact that music has on our emotional state is well-known. The energizing feeling you get from a good song can lift your spirits and make a drastic change in seconds. To fight off fatigue, burnout or general negativity, listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, which creates a mood boost when you’re feeling down. That’s all the more reason to always have a few “feel-good” playlists ready to go.
Ease Chronic Pain
Bob Marley famously said, “One good thing about music when it hits you—you feel no pain.” He had the right idea. Music has been used as an emotional and spiritual remedy since the beginning of time, but recent findings suggest it can ease chronic pain.
Listening to your favorite album won’t fix a broken bone, but it might help you cope with the intensity of the pain. Physiotherapists University Hospital of Manchester believe music can distract the mind and release endorphins that lessen pain. According to their research, music can shift a listener’s attention away from unpleasant sensations in the body.
Control Your Eating Habits
Enjoying music over an evening meal is a cozy way to end the day, but it might also help you meet your weight loss goals too. Experts suggest there may be a positive connection between music and food consumption.
Upbeat music boosts our mood and motivates us to move our bodies, but listening to calming music slows us down and allows us to take our time. According to experts from Cornell University, creating a relaxing environment will put you in a chill mood that encourages you to eat slower. The research also shows that pairing music with dim lighting enhances the feeling of relaxation.
To complement your dietary strategy, try playing some music the next time you’re eating at the dinner table—the slower the better.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Ease into a blissful night’s rest with a relaxing playlist. Adding music to your nightly routine prepares your body and mind to fall asleep. When you wake up, you’ll be well-rested enough to tackle whatever the day has in store for you.
For great quality sleep, we need to be “in-tune” mentally and physically. Sleep Foundation experts have examined how music triggers the physiological criteria required for a restful night of sleep, like a lower heart rate and slower breathing.
Research from a randomized controlled trial conducted at Semmelweis University reveals listening to music before sleeping induces a meditative state that minimizes the negative side effects of sleep disorders, such as fatigue and daytime tiredness. In a study of college students with sleep issues, participants who listened to classical music before bed experienced significant improvement in sleep quality.
To take your sleep routine to the next level, try using UE FITS with Endel, a sleep wellness app that uses sounds backed by neuroscience research.
Add Music to Your Lifestyle
Listening to music has a wide variety of health benefits, and incorporating it into your daily routine is easier than ever. Start with a morning playlist to kick things off, or try a playlist of relaxing jazz for a chill commute home. When you’re ready for superior sound quality, noise isolation and all-day comfort, choose a pair of Ultimate Ears—the ultimate listening experience.