Benefits of Music on the Brain
If you’re interested in improving your body, you head to the gym. But what about if you want to exercise your brain? While puzzles and games are a good start, there is another way to enhance your cognitive abilities: music!
Very few things stimulate your brain in the same way that music does, which is one of the therapeutic benefits of music boxes. And if you want to ensure your brain stays fit as you age, music is an amazing tool that can provide a total brain workout. Learn more about the benefits of music on the brain and why a music box might be a great place to start.
The Music Brain Connection
Experts have been studying how music affects the brain for years! On a physical level, the sounds create vibrations in the air that travel through the ear canal to reach your brain, where this organ reassembles the vibrations into what we can perceive as music.
Scientists have watched the brain react when music is played and discovered that it has a mathematical structure, which forces the brain to do a lot of computing in order to make sense of it. Who would have thought that math is the perfect brain workout?
So what are the other therapeutic benefits of music boxes that help you jam along to your favorite songs? You can expect to see reduced anxiety and blood pressure, as well as improved mood, sleep, cognition, and memory. Music can also enhance everyday tasks, like cleaning or cooking!
1. Reduce Anxiety & Depression
Research into the therapeutic benefits of music boxes and mental health has shown that listening to music causes your body to release a variety of hormones and other chemicals. Most of the chemicals are biochemical stress reducers, like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which come from the pituitary gland and affect many areas of your body.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Another therapeutic benefit of music boxes is that listening to melodies helps keep your heart healthy. Research shows that your blood flow improves when there is music around you, affecting your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
3. Improve Sleep
In addition to releasing hormones and chemicals that improve your body’s overall function, leading to better balance for your mood and reducing your stress, listening to music in bed can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep.
Now it’s important to remember that not all music has the same effects. If you want to enjoy this therapeutic benefit of music boxes, you’ll need to find music that meets the following criteria:
- Music that plays with a rhythm of 60-80 BPM
- Music with predictable, repetitive patterns
- Music that you already like
- Music that you’re familiar with
The hope here is that your heart rate will sync up with the slower music, calming you down. Choosing repetitive, familiar music keeps your brain from working itself up trying to guess what comes next while keeping it distracted from racing or stressful thoughts.
4. Enhance Mood
As we already mentioned above, listening to music releases chemicals, like dopamine, which relieves feelings of anxiety and depression. If your moods aren’t being suppressed by chemicals, it’s easier to feel happier. Furthermore, we process music through the amygdala, the part of your brain that’s responsible for mood and emotions, so one of the therapeutic benefits of music boxes is that happy music tends to make you feel happy.
5. Bolster Mental Alertness
As you age, your brain slows down. Some people even develop dementia or Alzheimer’s, which limits their cognition even more. But in music, there is a solution. Because your brain operates based on rhythm, listening to specific songs with different rhythms affects different parts of your brain. Typically, memory and cognition-boosting songs are upbeat and energetic. If you need a memory boost or an energy lift, listen to some of your favorite pop songs!
Making Music Part of Your Life
If you’re interested in enjoying the therapeutic benefits of music boxes, Music Box Attic can help. Many of our boxes come with USB devices that allow you to upload an entire medley of songs that suit your needs. You can also swap out the songs at will by connecting the USB to your computer and creating a new MP3 playlist to get the right benefits of music on the brain when you need them.