Why Does Music Soothe Our Soul?
No matter where I am in life, I can truly rely on one thing: music. I don’t know about you, but music is such an essential part of my life, yet I never realised just how impactful it is on our health and well-being.
Many in times of need, whether that be through happiness or sadness, turn to the power of music. I never understood why I turned to music, but I gravitated towards the benefits of the melodies, harmonies, and rhythmics. It was only after a bit of research that I discovered it had actually been scientifically discovered why people such as myself confide in the world of music. The power of music is usually utilised to match or alter our current mood. Have you ever been so stressed, upset, angry or even full of happiness that all you can do is put your headphones on and play your favourite song as loud as you possibly can? I am guessing you said yes, because same. There is no doubt that music can influence our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours, but now we are going to look at exactly why we resort to this in times of emotional need.
Primarily, an obvious reason why we turn to music for psychological aid is simply that it distracts our mind from our thoughts and allows us to focus solely on the music calming down our emotions. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of music engages the part of our brain that reduces stress and impulsivity. Believe it or not, but researchers have discovered that music could be a tool for weight loss. When listening to mellow music, people eat slower and become full quicker. Maybe that’s why all the posh restaurants have dimmed lighting and smaller portions.
It is truly unbelievable how many benefits listening to music actually has. A pretty obvious benefit is the help in memory; I personally feel like my brain is an encyclopaedia of songs from the 80s to the top charts in 2021. More than just a pleasant distraction from studying, memorising the tunes, melodies and beats of music is a beneficial exercise of the mind.
Whether I am happy or sad, I always turn to music to help tackle personal situations. Listening to Beatles ‘Let It Be’ during a time of uncertainty, knowing that what will be will be or an up to date tune by Khalid with ‘Know Your Worth’ reminds us to keep our heads up in times of anger, sadness or uncertainty. A lot of the music I find myself listening to holds positive undertones and notes as subconsciously we all need positivity in our life, and if we can simply play a song to improve our mood why would we not?
Despite the majorly productive and practical outcomes of music, we often use tunes to match or alter our mood, leading to unfavourable consequences. If we're feeling low, our choice of music will reflect this, and in the moment, it helps to listen to relatable content. But, continuously listening to this music could get us stuck in a negative cycle and prevent us from moving onwards.
Recently we have been living in a world of anxiety and overwhelming uncertainty, but for more people than not, music has created a sense of escapism that allows us to remove ourselves from the unprecedented times of the pandemic. Like everything, life is about balance and that doesn't differ for music.