Updated: Apr 1
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Music and wellbeing seem to go hand in hand these days more than ever. Medical studies have shown music properties such as beat or timbre affect heart rate or blood pressure in a positive way, which explains why we put our headphones on when we go for a jog or put some background music on when we practice yoga or read a book.
That’s something we’ve all presumed because we have experienced it first hand.
Science has gone a step further by shedding some light on assumptions. An online survey carried out by home audio products manufacturer Sonos and its research partners, found that listening to music has a significant positive effect on mood, fitness, relationships, and productivity.
Given the strong nexus between music and wellbeing and the positive effects of it on mood, health, and performance, a list of the several benefits of music may come handy when it comes to considering our options for wellbeing experiences such as facial massages. Let's discover 6 of those benefits below.
#1 Music Helps Us Relax
After a busy week, you are ready to dive into Friday and make the most out of your weekend. You get home, leave your keys on the table, appreciate the silence — no kids in the house tonight — and you head into the shower. Candles are lit up, speaker is on and your ‘chill and relaxing’ Spotify playlist is on the go. There’s no better way to end your hectic week, and listening to some music is just the cherry on top of the cake.
Wellness music is not only that cherry: it’s a skyrocketing trend — especially since the outbreak of coronavirus — and data endorses it. According to Spotify, the streaming service has seen a spike in searches for 'chill' and 'instrumental' playlists. After going through a pandemic, with the stress levels and uncertainty that it entails, there’s no doubt that the aforementioned spike was closely linked to the need of relaxing. With that in mind, Spotify has launched Daily Wellness playlists to make self-care more accessible than ever, using a mix of music and podcasts to bring mindfulness and positivity to every day.
Looking for another playlist that can help you with feel-good vibes? Check out these two favourite ones created by Maison Ito’s team!
#2 Music Prevents Illness and Eases Pain
Many things have been said about music and its healing properties over the years, but one of the most fascinating facts researchers have found about it is its analgesic effects.
Lyz Cooper, founder of The British Academy of Sound Therapy, shared her experience with music and wellbeing and affirms it plays a major role in mental health. Lyz has taken the lead in doing research on how and why sound and music are so effective when it comes to health, and one of the top tips she enlisted was the use of a relaxation playlist.
Eye-opening studies including ‘The Effects of Music on Pain: A Meta-Analysis’ by Jin Hyung Lee, reveal that listening to music has significant effects in pain reduction. An experiment carried out by the University of Pennsylvania proved music can be used as a sedative before a medical intervention. That’s why many hospitals around the world have used music therapy before surgeries to reduce patients’ anxiety.
#3 Music Helps Us Sleep Better
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The lack of sleep is something that we know parents with new-borns and toddlers are particularly familiar with. Many may struggle to find the balance between a rewarding career, a fulfilling romantic and social life, parenthood, and getting eight hours of sleep every night. Does it sound a lot like you? You’re not alone!
More and more people have found in music their best ally. Figures don’t lie. Online surveys undertaken by the US National Library of Medicine found that 57% of participants who affirmed using music to sleep claimed the main reasons for doing so is because it helps them ‘fall asleep quicker’, and 35% of them claimed it 'increases sleep satisfaction'.
Maison Ito’s favorite music will help you fall asleep. Our large and varied selection of music includes everything from instrumental music to the best jazz, samba, and music by Ella Fitzgerald, Jamie Cullum of Carla Bruni, among others. Interested in improving your sleep and waking up empowered? You may also want to listen to a sleep doctor and app developer Dr. Daniel Gartenberg who created a new way to make sleep more regenerative using the science of sound.
Ted video, Daniel Gartenberg, PhD—Sonic Sleep Coach
#4 Music Helps Us Relieve Headaches
Music’s healing properties are especially effective with minor aches, pains, and headaches. Good news? There are more studies and more ground-breaking technologies that have created a link between vital signs and personalised sound environments. This means that you can already trust an app to play the music you need to listen to when your heart rate is too high, your blood pressure too low or when you have a headache, for example.
You may want to try Endel, a sound app that uses data from your smartphone and smartwatch (location, time, weather…) and your vital signs (heart rate or respiratory rate, for instance). The system creates a unique sound composition that helps you reducing your levels of stress and anxiety, easing your headache, and enhancing focus. Sounds promising!
#5 Music Helps Us Make Healthier Food Choices
Music can influence our food choices and this is definitely good news considering this can help us eat healthier! With couples and entire families eating together all day due to Covid-19 meal planning and healthy eating have naturally taken on new importance.
If you’re part of the two-thirds of people in Europe who have jumped on the healthy food bandwagon, you should be aware that music might have played a major part in that and can keep doing so.
According to a study published by the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, music’s volume directly affects heart rate and arousal. The study revealed soft ambient music’s calming effect helps us become more conscious of our food choices, and therefore urges us to opt for the healthiest options. In contrast, louder music and noisy environments increase stress, which leads us to crave less healthy food such as cheeseburgers or French fries.
Do you normally wear your headphones when grocery shopping? If you already are on the right path to healthier life habits, then tuning into an ambient playlist the next time you do your shopping is an extra help you could use.
#6 Music Stimulates the Brain
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The connection between the creative part of our brain and music is undeniable. Results of a study led by Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, indicated that productivity was lowest and time-on-task was longest with no music. On the opposite side, participants’ productivity and creative thinking were better when they listened to music while working.
After realising many athletes arrived at the stadium listening to music, Kellogg School of Management professor Derek Rucke run a study to determine how powerful, dominant, and determined participants felt after listening to each song. The three undisputed winners: Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’; 2 Unlimited’s ‘Get Ready for This’, and 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’.
Another psychophysical data and sound-field analysis published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America revealed that listening to ‘natural’ sounds could enhance mental awareness and judgment, improve our ability to concentrate, and increase our level of satisfaction.
If you’re feeling your productivity is somehow decreasing and you’re not providing as many brilliant ideas as you used to, then maybe tuning in to a Spotify playlist is starting to sound like a plan, doesn’t it?