Exploring the therapeutic benefits of music and its influence on emotional well-being and mental health.
Universal Studios must have heard the saying and ran with it. Music sure is a universal language; and that explains how songs in different languages are greatly appreciated in other parts of the world where the language isn’t spoken. The fact that there exists a neurology treatment known as Music Therapy, already says enough about music. That some kids born with speech impediments can sing despite their inability to communicate by speech, is mind boggling. I could rumble on forever about the fascination that is music but let’s explore how music influences general wellbeing.
I am a music lover, enthusiast and have a decent amount of knowledge about music science. So in this article, I will lift personal life experiences to express the effects of music on human emotional and mental health.
Every waking day presents a particular craving for me. Like food but now music. That will determine the genre of music I will pick first thing in the morning. Believe it or not, this heavily influences how my day turns out. Upbeat music will keep me in high spirits all day; while slow old ballads will have me feeling relaxed. So on slow days, I’m pretty chill even with things that would normally make me jumpy or anxious. If you are not able to control what sort of music you choose to start your day with; at least be keen enough to recognize which mood you have set. Being self-aware helps you manage and control your actions and emotions.
Having been a writer, I first internalize lyrics to songs. When experiencing an inconvenience I can easily self soothe. If a co-worker made me angry, I’d blast hardcore hip hop in my ears, the rapper cursing helps. LoL! If my boyfriend broke up with me, I’d switch to 80s Blues. Bottom line is, it relaxes my nerves. As someone who has battled insomnia as well, I finally found sleep in certain instrumentals specifically manipulated to induce feelings of relaxation, safety and rest.
If you’ve never had a tattoo, you should know, they first hand you a pair of headphones and a list of playlists to pick from. That pretty much summarizes it. Music can ease even physical pain.
Have you ever wondered why teachers turned lessons to songs? Like the song that reminds you which months in a year have 30 days. How you can remember lyrics to hundreds of songs but already forgot my name at the beginning of this article? Interacting with music improves memory, attention, and problem-solving functions. Going further ahead to learn an instrument including vocal training enhances your reflexes as well.
Identity & Lifestyle
While some people have a way of life solely identifiable by certain music (Goth, K-Pop); some have had improved lives by communing in the name of music. Joining a choir or band has kept kids from low-income backgrounds away from a life of crime. As for those who have a bit more privilege; they use these avenues to decompress after a long day or week. All in all people have found a strong sense of belonging and a new lease of life in different music communities.
Music is emotionally evocative. Experiences we find difficult putting into words have beautifully been expressed in a lyric somewhere. Music talks to us and when required to, speaks for us. It is a popular choice for many but not all. There are other forms of art serving these very same functions but since music is my favorite, I’ll proudly and with bias state that music is the best.
I recently learnt that some people don’t listen to music and I have not yet recovered. Let me go listen to a healing song, I’ll be back to tell you more.