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The Science and Power of Music

Have you ever stopped to think about how profound music has been for you in your life? Just the beginning of a song can change someone’s mood, drop us into a state of reflection on life, reduce stress or even prepare us for a better athletic performance.

For many people there may be a calming effect to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” Or Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” can create a surge of energy bringing up a feeling of courage and confidence. Or Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” can drop you into a reflective mood on the impermanence of life and the longing for connection. Apparently, science shows that Beethoven’s 9th symphony can have positive impacts on our health and well-being.

In this study, Oxford University scientists took 24 healthy volunteers and had them listen to a variety of different forms of music. They found that listening to music with a 10-second repetitive cycle like Beethoven’s third movement No. 9 can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

There’s no question about it that music has dramatic effects on our thoughts, emotions and sensations. Matisyahu’s “One Day” can inspire a sense of global hope and instantly bring a smile to your face.

Does this resonate with you?

When it comes to your brain’s ability to believe what I’m saying, talk only goes so far, but experience takes it to the next level. If you’d like to investigate this for yourself, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is over an hour and you can find it here. But I believe you’d have to listen to the entire hour to replicate the study.

In the six month online mentorship program A Course in Mindful Living, a element we use to better understand ourselves is music. We post music and watch how it impacts our thoughts, emotions and sensations from moment to moment. Take some time to consider what relaxing tunes are to you, create some space, put them on and notice what comes up for you. If you need any help, here’s a Relax and Retune Playlist that was compiled by the last group that went through the course.

After listening, tell us how music impacts you! Share with us other music that inspires any of these feelings for you – calm, wakefulness, self-acceptance, self-compassion, joy, happiness, energy, compassion, generosity, and balance.

Let’s learn from one another, allowing for the creation of a Playlist for life.

Warmly,

Elisha

The Science and Power of Music

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.


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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2017). The Science and Power of Music. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 17, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2017/09/the-science-and-power-of-music/

 

Last updated: 7 Sep 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Sep 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.