Imagine you’re cruising down the highway in a sexy red convertible with the top down and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun busts thru the radio. You crank it up and start singing at the top of your lungs – giving it all you’ve got – feeling young and carefree! No matter what was on your mind before, you are now on top of the world! Ahhhh….such freedom!
Music has the ability to impact us in a way no other art form does. It takes you deep and can transport you to a specific time and place in your life and that can either take you up or down depending on the memory associated with the song.
This is the power of music. Did you know that it’s way more than nostalgia – that music does something very specific to our brain?
When we hear music that makes us wanna move and groove our brains release dopamine and we start to feel this natural high. It’s the same process that happens when we are eating our favorite foods or having great sex.
And yet music is so much more than food and sex. It’s one of the most powerful tools for self-expression that we have. Can you think of a time you were listening to a song and you were inspired or moved? Every time I hear the theme song to Rocky I see him climbing those stairs and reaching the top in victory and it evokes a feeling that anything is possible!
What songs create that feeling for you?
We all know that music can take us from sad too sensual too happy. For example, soft jazz can help us wind down after a stressful day at work and some Marvin Gaye can get our hips to sway. But did you know that music has big time physiological benefits?
Music has the power to heal.
In a study out of the University of London, researchers examined patients who were about to undergo surgery and monitored the impact music had on their stress levels. They found that listening to music before, during and after the procedure reduced people’s pain, anxiety and need for sedatives.
Music is also being used to help those inflicted with neurological problems. Those recovering from stroke or traumatic brain injury, for example, are not able to speak when their left-brain region has been damaged. But singing is a function of the right side of the brain, so by learning how to sing the words without the melody those inflicted can ultimately overcome the impairment. This is what former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords did after a gunshot wound took away her ability to speak.
So why is this important for you?
We all know how music affects our energy levels. There’s nothing better than when a song comes on that energizes and excites you into a happy blissful state, much like the Cyndi Lauper scenario.
Yet music isn’t only able to impact your mood or emotional state; it can actually influence the way you see the world and interact with others.
Researchers from the University of Groningen found that people who are positive are much more likely to see the positives in their surrounding environment and life. If you play happy music, you’ll tend to feel better, and have a more optimistic outlook.
This is the power of music, it does way more than improve our moods. In fact, research has also shown it can reduce everyday stress, boost memory and creativity, enhance blood vessel function and even give an added boost to your immune system.
So the next time you are looking for something to nourish your mind, put on your favorite song sister because it’s not only feeding your brain, it’s rejuvenating your soul 🙂
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