Music: A Powerful Tool for Healthy Living

December 12, 2019

The holiday season has arrived – and so have the hundreds of songs that come along with it! While this time of year’s tunes can inspire joy and beautiful memories, their constant repetition can also be a bit much. So, on that note (pun intended), we opted to keep music as our topic for this month’s article but rather than focusing on Jingle Bells or Ode to Joy, to instead shine a light on this wonderful fact: Music has been proven to promote our emotional and physical well-being. This season, we encourage you to explore the healing power of music. Happy Healthy Holidays!

Music brings people together and encourages us to be active.
Would you rather go to the gym or go to the dance? For most of us, music makes movement a pleasure – not the chore of working out. Music inspires us to pick up the pace, let go, and have fun! And if dancing isn’t your cup of tea, simply enjoy the social aspects of musical get-togethers. Be sure to come on down to Social Hour, Tuesdays and Fridays at 4pm in the Living Room!

Singing exercises the mind and stimulates memory.
Singing is a great workout for the brain, and a wonderful way to be around others who adore the beauty of song. Science confirms that music has the capacity to reach hidden areas of our brain because it is stored differently than speech and memory. This is why we can perhaps recall a tune from our childhood more easily than something that happened yesterday!

Music strengthens our overall well-being.
Listening to music you enjoy increases brain chemicals that give you a feeling of well-being. Uplift your spirit, reduce anxiety, say so-long to stress. We’ve all got those special songs associated with happy memories and they are a source of healing and relaxation. Listening to music has been linked to better health measured within the body’s immune system, such as the presence of antibodies plus strong heart rate and blood pressure.

Explore new music.
We often only listen to music from our own generation and avoid hearing anything from a different era. Experts suggest listening to music that your kids or grandkids love. Experiencing the tones and lyrics of new music challenges the brain in a way that old music may not. Though at first it might be a little out of your comfort zone, that unfamiliarity forces the brain to struggle to better understand the new groove.

Embrace the classics.
On the other end of the suggestion above, treat yourself to a listen of your favorite oldie – especially if it came from a time period you’re trying to recall. Perhaps listening to Louis Armstrong will bring you back to the moment of your first kiss!

Music inspires in us a feeling of meaning and fulfillment.
Enjoying music in your own way helps build your self-esteem. Studies show that we all have our own particular musical taste with which we identify, and from that we are instilled with a great sense of meaning and confidence. What a lovely way to ring in the holiday season!

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