› Does Music Improve Overall Health and Well-Being? (CMVic says yes!)21/Apr/2022
Summary: Listening to music helps improve mood and decreases anxiety, regardless of the genre. Researchers found listening to music elicits similar autonomic nervous system activation patterns people experience as a result of exercise. Findings reveal clinically significant improvements in well-being and health-related quality of life associated with music engagement.
Source: University of New South Wales
What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you prefer Bach over Metallica? Or perhaps David Bowie is more your jam than Ed Sheeran?
When it comes to the most impactful music in terms of health and well-being, does genre matter? Not really, according to current research. There is clear evidence that listening to the music you like can help improve your mood and decrease anxiety, for example.
Dr. Matt McCrary from UNSW Medicine & Health says engaging with music—which includes listening to music, playing an instrument or singing—elicits an emotional response, which also has a physiologic component.
“The specific ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ regarding music’s ability to elicit this emotional response is still the topic of much debate but it appears to be related to the creation of an emotional connection between musicians, who create sound with an emotional intention, and listeners, who receive this emotional information,” explains Dr. McCrary, who is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW Sydney.
Dr. McCrary says the physiologic implications of this emotional response are a broad activation of many brain regions and autonomic nervous system activation—specifically, of the “fight or flight” (sympathetic) response during most music engagement, followed by increased “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) activity after the music stops.
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