Judging from the quote above, Bob Marley was part poet, part scientist. That’s because there’s truth to the soothing sound of holiday lyrics. Research suggests that music not only helps us cope with pain it can also benefit our physical and mental health in numerous other ways. Read on to learn how listening to this season's tunes can boost your overall well-being and reduce pain.
- Music can ease pain! So set your radio dial to that music station that plays all those holiday favorites as you go to and fro this holiday season. Did you know that music can meaningfully reduce the perceived intensity of pain, especially in CFS and fibromyalgia patients? The simple sense of pleasure that is evoked from the melody can set your world into a reminiscing mode of years gone past. This simple task takes your mind away from pain and fatigue for the moment by uplifting your spirits.
- Listening to your favorite seasonal tunes can improve motivation and performance. By tackling the "must do list" this holiday season, your mind will be soothing itself as you belt out a few of your favorite tunes being played.
- Get improved sleep quality. Listening to slow beat Christmas music has been shown to effectively treat insomnia in college students, making it a safe, cheap alternative to sleep-inducing medication. The palliative act it has on your body, soothes over-active nerves placing you in a better frame of mind as you go about your daily responsibilities.
- Can relieve symptoms of depression. When you’re feeling down in the dumps, holiday music can help pick you up (much like exercise) . Research suggests the kind of music matters: Classical and meditative sounds seem to be particularly uplifting, whereas heavy metal and techno can actually make depressive symptoms worse.
- Reduce anxiety as much as a massage. One study found that music’s effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage . Here’s an idea: Treat yourself to a massage and bring your favorite chilled out tunes to play during the session. Double the relaxation!
- Elevate mood while driving. Listening to music while driving can positively impact mood . So when you’re feeling cranky in the car, try cranking some of your favorite holiday tunes.
- Improve cognitive performance. Favorite Christmas music may enhance performance on cognitive tasks . One older study found that listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted, and get more answers right . More recent research suggests that whether or not music improves cognitive function depends on whether the music first improves a person’s emotional state.