The Power of Music

by Jette-Mari Anni

This popped up on one of our dorm walls and I thought it was amazing! The little art installation shows just some of the ways music makes life better.

Music can:

Boost exercise performance – No wonder gyms are always blasting music! When you exercise to the beat, you won’t notice the time flying by. I can’t even run without music keeping my pace and my mind distracted from how many miles I have left. It just makes exercising so much more enjoyable!

Help manage pain – Music can, again, distract us from the discomfort we might be experiencing. Moreover, music can help us cope with psychological pain like heartbreak and grief. There’s a reason teenagers shut themselves off from the world with headphones – music can often express what’s happening inside when we don’t know how to deal with it.

Improve memory – Have you ever heard that classical music can help with concentration and learning new things? I have a personal theory that the lack of lyrics paired with the complexity of classical tunes is the key behind it. We don’t have to focus on processing the lyrics, whether we’re aware of them or not. Plus, there’s definitely less temptation to throw the book away and rock out instead. On the other hand, adding a beat to something is a known memorizing technique, so listening to music, and even learning the lyrics, creates new pathways in our brain for information to flow through!

Help lower anxiety – Music can help us ground ourselves. In severe moments of anxiety, people perform different routines to help them ground themselves, and counting a beat can be part of that routine. In less severe times of anxiety, music can be a great distraction, or even just help to regulate your mood.

Decrease fatigue – Do you like to rock out in the morning? I always start my day by turning on the radio on my phone, making my breakfast or morning coffee, and just swaying around, slowly waking up. When it’s later in the day or nighttime and I need to stay awake, I’ll put on some bangers that I know are loud and forceful enough to re-energize me (or at least prevent me from just dozing off completely).

How does music help you? Have you noticed any of these benefits? Let us know!