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Make Music Your Medicine

You have the power to improve your mind and body through music

headphones music happy woman listening to music sunlight

We live in a world where we can more or less access music wherever we want and whenever we want whether that's on the go, home alone or with friends. This is amazing as the power of music can change the whole atmosphere or one's whole mood. There's a reason elevator music isn't heavy metal. The more you understand how to utilise that power of music to your advantage through intentional listening the relationship between music and your mental health will grow and you will hopefully feel the benefits it has to offer.


Music holds memories


Music is a great way to create memories and get you up and out of the house. (A hard task for someone struggling with their mental health) Say your favourite artist is touring; listening to their music live would be a completely different and unique experience whether you go alone or with friends. Those memories will last forever. Attending local venues and supporting local music scene can also create a sense of community and support which is also known for benefitting mental health.


Another way of building relations using music is through the creation of collaborative playlists and making blends with others you know. The more music you discover, the more chance someone you and your friend likes is playing near you.


Spotify actually has a whole section dedicated to mood and emotion. Spotify Wrapped is a feature made for their subscribers that combines their most listened to artists and songs of that year and then creates a hybrid playlist to share and listen to forever. Having used this feature before, I have experienced that transportation to previous years and moments in time captured through my old wrapped playlists and many others have to with Spotify reporting.


There have also been studies about songs associated with strong memories that can activate the nucleus accumbens, the so-called pleasure centre of the brain. So in theory if you were to play a song linked to a happy memory, it would transport your mind back into that happy space.


I have created a collaborative playlist where anyone can add their own song which is attached to a happy memory of any kind. Did it play during your first kiss? Or was it at a great gig where you were dancing the night away?


Feel free to add a song of your own!


As you can see there is no specific genre or tempo as music is an art form and that’s subjective.


The environment


Companies and organisations know that memories are linked to music but they also know that your immediate environment is linked to music as well so some restaurants will “use music as a way of subtly encouraging people to eat faster so there is greater turnover.” I remember as a teen to stop “anti-social behaviours” the local park would emit a high frequency sound to discourage people staying there late.


With this in mind, if a certain frequency can make you want to leave and cause stress what would be the opposite frequency to reducing anxiety and increasing contentedness be? Through research, some believe listening to classical relaxing music does just that. Music with an average frequency that many musicians advocated is 432 Hz as that is the closest frequency to the natural human frequency or the Mozart effect; a theory that states listening to music of Mozart may temporarily boost scores on one portion of an IQ test.”



Expression


Everyone knows talking your feelings out can help you process emotions but sometimes finding the courage to talk to a friend or loved one isn't always the easiest and with the average price of therapy in the uk being £30 to £100, financially that could also cause more stress. Also listening to songs where the artist is singing about a similar topic allows you to feel less alone and hopeful especially if they are also singing about how they overcame that hard time in their life.

I believe music has changed my life for the better and has been the main positive attribute to my mental wellbeing. I have found life long friends through the power of listening to music and when I have struggled there has always been a playlist to help calm me down, get me out of a rut and live in the present.


I would say that is a form of medication.












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