World Wellbeing Week 2024: How music could boost your mental and physical wellbeing

World Wellbeing Week 2024 offers an opportunity for people to really take the time to explore different avenues for boosting, not only personal wellbeing, but the wellness of those around them too.

Amongst the host of approaches around improving wellbeing, music stands out as what could be a powerful tool, as it can have a great impact on our mental, emotional, and even physical health.

Mental and Emotional Health:

Music can have the ability to reduce stress and anxiety. A study[i] conducted in 2011 revealed that listening to songs with a steady tempo, a simple melody and a pretty predictable harmony can reduce anxiety levels. Another study carried out in 2013 showed that listening to soothing melodies can lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in our bodies[ii].

This reduction in stress levels can lead to a more relaxed state of mind, which is crucial for our overall wellbeing. Music therapy is also sometimes used to help people manage stress and improve their mood.

Whether it’s classical music, jazz, or a favourite pop song, the right tracks can provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of daily life.

In addition to its calming effects, music can also boost cognitive functions and enhance mental clarity. A 2019 report[iii] shows that for some people, listening to music can improve memory, attention, and even problem-solving skills.

For those mundane jobs that no doubt crop up every now and again, music can be an effective tool to keep you focused on the task at hand. However, it may not work for everybody, so make sure you take the time to figure out what works best for you.

Music can also act as a tool to keep you, your colleagues, and friends connected. Relationships can form and strengthen when bonding with people over music tastes. You may find out something new about people you speak to everyday!

Physical Health:

Believe it or not, music can also aid in the improvement of physical wellbeing. As mentioned previously, music can help alleviate stress and anxiety, and this goes hand in hand with your physical health. Listening to calming music can have the power to relive tension, reduce your heart rate, and lower your blood pressure.

Also, listening to your favourite upbeat tunes can be useful to keep you motivated during some potentially gruelling exercise. A recent study[iv] revealed that music has been shown to improve performance in certain exercises like endurance sport and sprinting. Music has also been shown to possibly have the power to lower the perception of tiredness and exertion through dissociation and distraction while exercising.

As we focus on World Wellbeing Week 2024, it is important to recognise all of music’s benefits. From reducing stress and enhancing cognitive functions to building connections, music is a versatile tool that can improve our overall wellbeing. 

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