5 Simple Ways You Can Use Music to Improve Your Health

It’s no secret that music is good for you, and can help promote a healthy lifestyle. Here are 5 easy ways to use music to improve your health:

Sleeping

Image Credit: CDC

Image Credit: CDC

America as a whole seems to have a problem with getting enough sleep.  More than 33% of American adults report getting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night, and an estimated 50-70 million Americans have a sleep disorder

Music, however, can help people with and without sleep disorders get the restful and invigorating sleep they need. Studies have shown that listening to low tempo and low energy music before bed can help people fall asleep. Another way that music may influence sleep is through altering the release of hormones: music listening has been found to increase the release of endogenous opioids and oxytocin And for those who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, research has shown music can help you fall asleep faster and experience overall better sleep quality

We developed UNWIND.AI with acclaimed musicians Marconi Union to make music that listens to your heart rate and is designed to help you relax before sleep. It's free, works on any web browser, and was designed for the smartphone to get a better idea of how music is effecting your physiology towards relaxation. Try it tonight and see if it helps you get a better night's rest.
 

Studying

Music has been known to improve memory, increase focus, and expand creativity. Along with the fact that music reduces stress, music can also block out distractions and background noise—promoting focus and concentration. That said, the effects of background music depend on things like the specific cognitive demands of the task at hand, the characteristics of the music, the context of the task, and the personal preferences of the individual exposed to the music. For these reasons, if you do use music to help study and do homework, make sure to avoid songs with lyrics. 

Use Spotify? Sync Music Bot can help you find the right music to study to, right in Slack. Sync Music Bot learns automatically sort through millions of songs and suggest the best ones to help you focus on the task at hand. Try it today!
 

Improving Mood

Even when you have nothing to do, music can simply help boost your mood! Music can alter brain chemistry and trigger neural pathways that can increase positive emotions. Studies show that even “sad” sounding music can elevate people’s mood and evoke cheerful states of mind. On the the Sync Project Blog, we've also covered how emotions evoked by music can have a wide range of effects on cognitive processes such as memory and attention.
 

Working Out

Music tends to improve the retrospective outlook of a workout. In a study at McMaster University in Hamilton, people who listened to music during an intense workout tended to look back upon the experience more favorably than when they worked out in silence. Music can also help the body maintain rhythm. In a study by Sheffield Hallam University, cyclists who worked out in time with background music used 7% less oxygen than cyclists who did not match their motions with the beat—following the beat helped cyclists maintain their pace and decrease excessive energy usage. Music has even been shown to accelerate recovery after a workout, by activating the nervous system responsible for lowering blood pressure and heart rate. 

Reducing Stress

If you're reading this, you've probably used your favorite song to change your mood during a tough time or a lengthy commute. But did you know music has also been shown to effect the physiological indicators of stress, like lowering blood pressure, breath and heart rate? 

Singing along to music can help release two important hormones important for regulating responses to stress. Endorphins reduce the impact of pain on the body, and can foster euphoric feelings and boost people’s moods. When released, oxytocin can reduce stress and anxiety within a person. When people sing, both hormones are released, creating a 1-2 punch that lowers stress levels, while also promoting a more positive outlook within the singer.
 
Despite all the research and positive correlations between music and the body, only you know yourself best! Music is a powerful device that when used properly, can elicit happy thoughts, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase productivity! Whatever you so choose to do, use the power of music for good!
 

Written by Andrew Zannatos and Alex De Raadt