Music and mental health

The power of music and it’s influence on mood states, must not be ignored. Bob Marley once said “one good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain.” This appears to be a true statement when we listen to our favourite song or to a new song by our favourite artist for the first time.

However, music can play a part in all mood states.

Research suggests that listening to music can have a profound impact on our mood, whether it be an upbeat, happy song or a melancholy, doom laden tune. Evidence suggests that listening to upbeat, positive music can lead to a 9% increase in dopamine levels, the mood enhancing chemicals in our brain. When dopamine is released, we can potentially experience the same internal response as that of having food or being in love.

Conversely, music has been found to compound or maintain depression, anxiety and neurosis in people listening to deep, dark and melancholy songs and studies suggest that people listening to this type of music do so as an expression of negative feelings rather than in an attempt to improve their mood state.

It is well documented that sportsmen and women alike are able to enhance their competitive focus by listening to music that gets them ‘pumped’ or ‘fired-up’. Equally, putting on chilled tunes at the end of a hard day can result in a more relaxed, reflective state and provide us with an increased sense of wellbeing.

We all have our own personal taste in music, however it is worth exploring the following songs identified by neuroscientists as having the ability to reduce anxiety by up to 65%!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

2. “Electra” by Airstream

3. "Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)" by DJ Shah

4. “Watermark” by Enya

5. “Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay

6. “Please Don’t Go” by Barcelona

7. “Pure Shores” by All Saints

8. “Someone Like You” by Adele

9. "Canzonetta Sull'aria" by Mozart

10."We Can Fly" by Rue du Soleil

Sit back and enjoy!

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