In all civilizations of the world, ancient or new, there is one common thread that they all have in common, music. It seems, that when the strains of music fill the air it has an uncanny affect of many people. At the very least, it brings joy to those who listen to it.
Everyone has recognized and understood this fact for thousands of years but now, in light of recent studies, much more has been learned about the power of music and how it affects those who listen to it. Whether your preference is the ancient beats and rhythms of your ancient ancestors or the vibrant strains of rock and roll, the appreciation of music is an integral part of what separates us from all other creations.
What We’ve Learned
On the surface, we all know that music is simply strings of notes, tones, and rhythms. But researchers have discovered that these things, combined in precisely the right way, have the ability to be therapeutic in many ways. Researches have discovered that even a sad song can be comforting to the listener. According to a study performed at UK’s Durham University and at the University of Jyvaskyla of Finland, the majority of the subjects reported very positive experiences when listening to sad songs.
The knowledge gained from this and other similar studies can help to find ways to incorporate music in a variety of therapeutic and rehabilitation programs. They have learned that music has the ability to literally tap into the mind’s ability to promote comfort, relief, and enjoyment.
The Power of Sad Music
In another study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, sad music in particular had a powerful affect on listeners. Researchers learned that people who were experiencing a personal loss of some kind, a break up for example, preferred listening to sad music. This suggests that the sad music can actually serve as a replacement for the loss of the relationship. Studies seem to point out that sad music can take the place of an empathetic friend who truly understands their feelings and emotions.
The Benefits of Upbeat Music
Other studies point out that more upbeat music can also serve as a mood booster for many. It tends to produce happier moods and helps the listener to feel better. There have also been added benefits to listening to these more upbeat rhythms. When music makes you happy by extension you’ll have better health, which leads to better work situations that can bring on higher income, and improved relationships.
According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy has helped many to manage their stress, improve memory, and even bring relief from pain.
A recent 2015 review found that those who listened to music prior to or after a surgical procedure experienced less pain and stress compared to those who didn’t. This resulted in the use of less pain medication and a quicker recovery. Researchers found out that the best results in the study were among those who got to choose their own music rather than have one chosen for them.
The bottom line, music has a powerful and sometimes even spiritual affect on its listeners and can be used in a wide variety of situations. The best news of all is that it is a non-invasive yet safe and affordable way to manage our mental, physical, and spiritual health and is readily available on every corner of the planet and it comes with no negative side effects.