Today is cloudy and gray and I'm tired and worried about current events, so I found myself in a bit of a low place emotionally. I spent the morning journaling and meditating. Then, I enjoyed a relaxing bath with epsom salt, sea salt, and essential oils. I was listening to one of my favorite stations on Pandora radio and it occurred to me that I was feeling a bit lighter. I noticed that the song playing was a waltz and I recalled feeling a bit brighter every time a waltz comes on. So I started thinking about the power of music.
There are songs that make me cry, songs that make me want to dance, and songs that bring me joy. Music soothes the soul, warms the heart, and can clear away tears within just of few beats. The power of music cannot be denied. What is it about music that is so moving and healing?
When we listen to music our brain releases a feel good chemical called dopamine which has an effect on emotion, perception and movement. Music impacts our emotions, lifts our mood, reduces anxiety, raises motivation and helps lighten depression.
Music therapy is a scientifically validated intervention and is used for multiple physical and mental health conditions
Improves invasive procedures
Improves invasive procedures. Including colonoscopies, knee surgery, and cardiac angiography. Those who listened to music in the operating room reported less discomfort during their procedure. Hearing music in the recovery room lowered the use of opioid painkillers.
Reduces side effects of cancer therapy
Listening to music reduces anxiety associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It can also quell nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy.
Aids pain relief
Music therapy has been tested in patients ranging from those with intense acute pain to those with chronic pain from arthritis. Overall, music therapy decreases pain perception, reduces the amount of pain medication needed, helps relieve depression, and gives people a sense of better control over their pain.
Improves quality of life for dementia patients
Because the ability to engage with music remains intact late into the disease process, music therapy can help to recall memories, reduce agitation, assist communication, and improve physical coordination.
source: Harvard Health Publishing
So the next time you are feeling blue try turning up the volume on your favorite song and see how it can have a positive impact on your mood, motivation, or joy.
“Music has a power over the body, a language that possesses an inherent nature to make us feel.”
—Deborah Bradway, MT-BC, from “Music Therapy as a Treatment for Substance Abuse with At-Risk Children and Adolescents”
And if you are looking for more ideas to find joy in your life please join me every Tuesday at 1pm ET. Click here for more information.