Posts Tagged ‘music and wellness’

After the Super Bowl LVI halftime show 2022, water cooler and social media discussions were interesting, to say the least. Comments ranged from, “That was AMAZING!” to “That was AWFUL!” also “What a blast from the past!” and “Who were those performers?” Regardless of your thoughts on the Super Bowl halftime show, do you know that listening to music can lead to positive health outcomes? Many times, we focus on silence and quiet for inner peace and strength. While there is a time for silence and quiet reflection, turning the music on also has its place and benefits.

Someone asked me the other day if I was a “Broadway fan.” I replied, “It depends on the day.” Sometimes a good musical number is my go-to jam, but I also enjoy a variety of music genres. What I listen to depends on my mood, where I am, and what I am trying to accomplish. I have an internal dialogue that helps me choose what to listen to.

  • What activity will I be doing? (driving, showering, studying, exercising, working, cleaning, relaxing, etc.)
  • What mood am I in? (happy, sad, excited, silly, reflective, angry, etc.)
  • Do I want to stay in that same mood?
  • Am I somewhere I can sing and dance along?
  • Is anyone going to be listening with me?

After this, I choose my song or genre, then find an existing playlist or station, turn it up (or sometimes down), and let the magic of music begin.

Some health benefits of listening to music include:

  • Music = brain food
    • Listening to music helps develop different neuropathways in the brain
  • Music = mood changer
    • Music releases dopamine and oxytocin, the brain’s feel good chemicals
  • Music = stronger language
    • Music helps to build language development, including sound recognition
  • Music = math
    • Music helps to develop rhythm, pattern-recognition, and fractions
  • Music = memory
    • Music transports us to a different time and place
  • Music = social
    • Music reminds us we are part of a team

Music can be a unifier or a divider of families and communities (as evidenced by the singing  of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto). Music can help you find a way to dance when you’ve lost your rhythm and it can make a difference from moment to moment. What are you waiting for? Build your playlist, enjoy your favorite genre, and let the magic of music transform you.

Written By: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hardin County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County


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Why do you listen to music? Take a moment to think about where you are at, what you are doing or how you are feeling when you choose to play music.
People listen to music:
• for a boost and to relieve stress
• to keep them awake during a long car journey
• to help them relax or fall asleep
• to soothe their baby
• to dance with their children or family
• to break up the work day
• to run faster
• to deal with a break up
• to influence their creativity

While we know music helps us daily to accomplish tasks, change our moods, deal with problems, relax, exercise and even celebrate – it can also be a therapy.

Music and rhythmic sounds have been used as healing powers for centuries throughout the world. It is only recently that modern physicians have rediscovered how music can help emotional and physical health and wellness through music therapy. Through music’s rhythm, order and predictability, it can help people express themselves and improve speech, walk, and move better, and improve memory. Music therapy can also help relieve pain, anxiety and long term illnesses (cancer, stroke, heart disease, respiratory conditions) or help with a progressive disease such as Parkinson’s.

Research has also shown that:

  • Music helps the brain produce a calming substance and slow down your body when it’s overactive.
  • Listening to music can have a real effect on various parts of the brain such as memory and vision.
  • Music really can change our mood and even help us concentrate.
  • While listening to music, patients’ blood pressures and heart rates became more stable.
  • Listening to pleasurable music is good for your heart because it can produce ‘musical chills’ which trigger the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine.

Even though the science of music therapy is still in the early stages it has shown to have a significant positive impact on our health and well being.

Ah, the healing power of music – that’s music to my health – and your health too!

Graceland gate

Writer: Candace J. Heer, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County, Heart of Ohio EERA, heer.7@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu






Photo credits:

Stocking around – http:///www.freeimages.com/photo/522119

graceland memphis tennessee gates musical notes –


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