Music elevates mood and reduces mental illness risk

Music elevates mood and reduces mental illness risk

“Everybody has that point in their life where you hit a crossroads and you’ve had a bunch of bad days and there’s different ways you can deal with it and the way I dealt with it was I just turned completely to music.”

― Taylor Swift

Music is one of the effective ways to improve mental health, according to researchers from McGill University in Montreal. Their research has revealed for the first time that music can help in release of dopamine, a mood enhancing neurotransmitter, in the brain. As dopamine is related to the emotions of pleasure, the researchers said that music therapy can be a good way to keep mental health intact.

Both creating and listening to good music have a range of positive effects on mood and mental health. One of the best ways to boost the spirit and overcome the challenges witnessed on a regular basis is listening to music. The study, published in the journal Neuroscience in 2011, revealed that listening to good music releases the neurotransmitter dopamine essential for experiencing pleasure.  In fact, even the mere anticipation of good music causes dopamine release.

A functional variation in dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2 rs1076560) controls the impact of music on the brain. As the brain is steered toward the release of more mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, one can really derive more pleasure and stay out of reach of stress and anxiety by listening to music.

Effects of music on mind and body

Music can really be a good friend for everyone, but only a fraction of the population believes that music can enhance their mood bogged down by stress. Music can have therapeutic effects on depression and other types of problems. Some of the benefits of music as a therapy are as following:

  • Increases focus: Listening to music at 60 bpm (beats per minute) helps in increasing one’s efficiency. Moreover, it has been proven that soft and instrumental music enables one to focus on the task at hand.
  • Enhances social skills: While listening to one’s favorite playlist may seem to be just a pastime affair, experts believe that music increases the social skills of the listener. It also helps people in connecting with like-minded people, which is great for social bonding.
  • Fosters creativity: One of the great ways to calm down a disturbed mind is participation in activities that enable the brain to think creatively. And of all, music can be a good tool for encouraging creativity and improving mood. This allows a person to be productive.
  • Relaxes the mind: Music is also a great way to relax the mind. People who follow music and feel its highs and lows often find more relaxation after listening to it than those who just want to have a nap or sip a cup of coffee to revive their energy level.
  • Motivates the listener: Music that has great lyrics often motivate the listeners with a positive message and comforting language. Researchers believe that good music can help people to stay positive and cheerful when life demands the best out of them.

Scientific reason to love music

According to the lead researcher of the above study, music “might regulate mood and emotional responses at both the behavioral and neuronal level.” This finding is based on a scientific methodology and not on assumptions. According to an author of the research, “the link between genes and phenotypes via a true biological path that goes from functional genetic variations to brain physiology subtending behavior” is a great way to observe the effects of music on the brain.

The findings do suggest that nonmedical approaches, such as music therapy, can be greatly beneficial for people suffering from mental stress. Moreover, it can reduce the risk of developing some common mental issues, such as anxiety and depression, which are the most popular among all.

Stop ignoring mental health

It is a matter of choice whether one makes it a habit to listen to music, but it must be everyone’s top priority to keep their mental health at the best every time. Mental illnesses can occur any time, but one’s awareness and proactivity can save him or her from falling prey to mental illnesses.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health issue, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know more about the rehab centers in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online to get more information on the mental disorder treatment in Florida.


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