With its satisfying rhythms and  melodies, music brings people together in a way few other things can. In addition, music it has been shown to prompt real, physical, and psychological improvements in people’s health.

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How Music Affects Mood

We’ve all experienced an emotional connection with music. A good song can make us feel happy or sad, in love or angry. In recent years, scientific studies have confirmed the connection between music and mood.

Some studies have found that listening to music you enjoy may increase the release of pleasure-causing substances in the brain like norepinephrine and melatonin. It may also decrease stress-causing hormone production in the body. As a result, music therapy has the power to do the following:

  • Reduce stress/ease anxiety
  • Improve sleep
  • Lessen depressed mood
  • Create positive mood
  • Boost self-confidence
  • Increase energy

Keep in mind, clinical depression is a serious disorder that should be addressed by a mental health professional, who can help you develop an individualized treatment program.

RELATED: Hope for Those with Treatment-Resistant Depression

Music and Disease: What’s the Connection?

Music has also been shown to help relieve depressed feelings associated with conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

  • People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may be able to uncover some memories through music therapy. Scientists believe music stimulates areas inside the brain responsible for both emotion and long-term memory, allowing for the recovery of memories.
  • In the short-term, vibroacoustic therapy, or physical treatment using sound vibrations, has been shown to ease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and fibromyalgia. During the therapy, sound vibrations at a low frequency are absorbed through the body. Researchers have found that the technique improves Parkinson’s symptoms, including reducing tremors. Studies are ongoing to determine the long-term effects of the therapy.

The Connection Between Music and Your Overall Health

More and more studies are scientifically confirming what many of us have already guessed – music puts us in a better mood. What some people may not realize is that our mood is directly linked to our overall health.

Being in a better mood improves our physical health, leads us to make better lifestyle decisions, and helps us strengthen relationships. When we feel better mentally, we feel better physically and emotionally, too.

So, if you’ve ever listened to a couple of great songs and felt like your whole day turned around for the better, you’re probably right. Music is connected to our moods, and it will always be a part of human life!

About UPMC Western Behavioral Health

UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is the hub of UPMC Behavioral Health, a network of community-based programs providing specialized mental health and addiction care for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to people of all ages with mental health conditions. UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital is a nationally recognized leader in mental health clinical care, research, and education. It is one of the nation’s foremost university-based psychiatric care facilities through its integration with the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. We are here to help at every stage of your care and recovery.