Music Helps. But How?

July 12, 2018

Not long ago we posted about how music helps lift our mood or make us calm. Now we want to elaborate on that a little with some scientific background on what music does to our body and soul.

Have you ever noticed, how an epic music piece just made your ride to work so much more thrilling? Didn’t matter you got there by bus and not a burning helicopter just about to run out of fuel. You made it with style. Even if you were the only one to feel it. Ok, so the possible awkwardness aside, did you ever wonder how does it work?

How can music help during the day?

Science time! The most recent study was done in 2015 and it included researching over 73 trials, involving more than 7000 patients. Conclusions were as conclusive as convoluted we just made this sentence. All the patients that listened to music both pre and post op felt less anxiety and stress. But, check this out- the ones that had their funk healed faster! As in, their physical parts mended at a faster rate, compared to patients without anything to listen to. Guess you can Wolverine your rehabilitation with some music, huh?

Ok, there’s more science. We just could not, we say, could not stop at this.

When to listen?

You might have heard about music therapy for people suffering from depression. You might have not, but still, given what you know about music in general, and how awesome you felt after stepping off that bus. This doesn’t really surprise, right? But, how?

Well, the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and a less likely to copy-paste name of Durham University in the United Kingdom (we did it anyway) have published a study about the effect of sad music. Unsurprisingly, sad music makes us sad. Ha! But the “why” here is fascinating. You see, Human brain regulates so many processes within the body that we (even as the owners of said brains) can’t possibly know about all of what’s going on. For example, you might crave a specific dish anytime soon, not because you’re hungry, just out of the blue. Why? Because your brain wants something that dish consists of, a vitamin maybe? “Do you think that’s air you’re breathing right now?”

The brain

It needs to regulate the emotions as well. Well, we need to. As grown-ups and all. So, sometimes we need to chill out in the house and stay at home. Sometimes we need to go out and have fun. And some people feel the need to be sad every now and then. Of course, sad music is not made only for those in need… oh wait. It is. Because according to the study done by Finlands and UK universities, music boosts our emotional state.

“The results help us to pinpoint the ways people regulate their mood with the help of music, as well as how music rehabilitation and music therapy might tap into these processes of comfort, relief, and enjoyment,” said lead author, Tuomas Eerola, Ph.D., a professor of music cognition at Durham University

When to stop?

According to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, you can’t stop and as much as we’d hate to agree with them, we can’t think of a situation that would not benefit from music. The first thought was “cementaries!” And no, we did not think that because of Bella Lugosi. Or Bauhaus. But there is music even during the ceremonies, so that’s a no. Airplanes? Elevators? Can anyone think of a place where there could be no music? Yeah, right like we’d fall for the story that the guys at NASA HQ don’t listen to Aerosmith’s “I don’t wanna miss a thing” on a loop! Classroom? Studies show that mild, calm music can help focus both during exams and while class is in session. The blame for no music in schools is those new rap… musical abominations with their expensive clothing accessories wearing gangs. (ha!) It’s difficult to stay sane not to mention focused. So, maybe, unlikely and definitely un-willingly, yes. We agree with Red Hot Chilli Peppers. You can’t stop.

Why would you?

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