There’s power in pressing play.
Music has the ability to take you back in time, spark a dance party or set the mood for a relaxing evening. It also can positively affect your life in a very real way.
From a happier mindset to more motivation, there’s a host of wonderful reasons to get lost in a good tune. Below are just a few science-backed benefits of listening to your favorite songs (as if you really needed convincing):
Music relieves anxiety.
Studies show listening to music can physiologically ease stress and even reduce depressive symptoms. Researchers in the United Kingdom even claim that certain songs can reduce anxiety up to 65 percent. Simply put, music can be medicine for your mind.
It can put you in a good mood.
It can help you heal.
Admit it: You’ve played Adele on repeat after a breakup (there’s no shame). Science shows it may help. Research suggests sad music may actually induce positive emotions. A 2014 study found that when people listen to melancholy songs they experienced more empathy because they connected to the sadness of the music’s artist but experienced no “real life implications” of the sad event. This, in turn, can feel cathartic, according to experts.
Music can be motivating during a workout.
It can improve your sleep.
A 2008 study found that listening to classical music helped ease insomnia symptoms in college students. Other research also suggests music can put you in a meditative state. Talk about a nice way to enhance those Zs.
It’s a major performance enhancer.
Got a big project? Listen to some tunes. Studies show background music can boost cognitive performance on tasks like academic tests (but it may depend on whether or not that music boosts your mood, first). Research also suggests upbeat music can help you do well under pressure.
Music sticks with you.
There’s a reason those old boy band songs never fade from your heart: Music is the ultimate prompt for nostalgia. Experts believe that your brain stays attached to music from your youth because you listened to it when you were gaining a sense of yourself, your social connections and the world around you. In a way, music informed your identity.
Ready to plug in those headphones yet?
Lindsay Holmes, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.msidallas.com