Can a Daily Dose of Music Help to Keep You Healthy?

The results of a recent study — which was commissioned by a company that provides streaming music — claims that listening to an assorted variety of styles of music for at least 78 minutes per day will help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Can a Daily Dose of Music Help to Keep You Healthy?

Scientists at the British Academy of Sound Therapy conducted a global study of greater than 7,500 participants has suggested a “recommended daily allowance” for music which incorporates your choice of music by listening to the following styles of music on average of:

  • 14 minutes of uplifting music to feel happy — 18 percent of your recommended daily allowance
  • 16 minutes of calming music to feel relaxed — 20.5 percent of your recommended daily allowance
  • 16 minutes of music to overcome sadness — 20.5 percent of your recommended daily allowance
  • 15 minutes of motivating music to aid concentration — 19 percent of your recommended daily allowance
  • 17 minutes of music to help manage anger — 22 percent of your recommended daily allowance
Music instruments

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

“The study analyzed how people use music to process emotions. Relaxation was the most common emotional benefit (90%), followed by happiness (82%) as well as overcoming sadness (47%). A further third (32%) of participants used music to help them concentrate, while over a quarter (28%) deal with anger through their tunes”, according to this article posted by barbora for Deezer, which is a music streaming service. “The study found that on average, people should listen to music for 11 minutes to enjoy its therapeutic benefits. The only exception was happiness — participants reported feeling happier within just five minutes of listening to joyful tunes. Participants also reported feeling more satisfied with life (86%), having more energy (89%) and laughing more (65%) after listening to ‘feel-good’ songs.”

The study also claims that:

  • Pop music was highlighted as the most effective in inducing happiness (25%)
  • Classical music created a state of relaxation (28%)
  • Rock was also effective in bringing calm to participants, with 18% feeling relaxed after 16 minutes of listening to Rock music
  • Relaxing music had participants feeling:
    • Peaceful and contented (92%)
    • Reduced muscle tension (79%)
    • Sleeping better (82%) when listening to relaxing songs
  • 31 percent of us prefer music with a fast tempo when feeling angry, while another third of the participants favoring songs with a slow tempo
  • Participants reported that listening to music to process anger:
    • Helped the issue melt away (81%)
    • Feel less likely to get angry at new things that arise (88%) and
    • Feel more able to deal with life’s challenges (92%).


Columbia Restaurant

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

What the aforementioned study does not take into account is that the style of music is not the only factor in affecting the mental state of a person. For example, a song could be a reminder of a loved one who is special in your life — or it could trigger the memory of an unpleasant experience you would rather forget. For example, even though the study revealed that the 2013 song Happy by Pharrell Williams is the most popular song to listen to in terms of inducing happiness, the song could instead evoke feelings of sadness and depression if it reminds you of a person with whom you had a serious relationship which had since ended on a bad not.

I have had playlists of music for different scenarios and situations before portable digital electronic music players — such as the iPod from Apple — existed. As only two of a number of examples, one playlist contains songs for when I travel as a passenger by airplane; while another playlist is for traveling by car on the highway. The songs do put me in a mood which I choose and prefer to experience whenever I find myself in one of those select scenarios or situations.

Here is a little insight as to how important music is to me — especially when traveling; here is a music trivia quiz of songs with multiple destinations in the lyrics; and here is how you can get free music to help you relax or sleep.

I am not sure exactly how scientific is this study, but I would think that no there is no harm in believing the results — especially when traveling; and even if only for a placebo effect…

All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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