by Prakriti Poddar, Global Head for Mental Health and Wellbeing at RoundGlass
Music has the power to make us exhibit different feelings and elicit memories or emotions. In the same thread, music can help to relieve specific responses we may have to those feelings – such as stress or anxiety. Those feelings often manifest in physical reactions like headaches, loss of appetite, tension and more, but the answer to relieving them may be just a playlist away.
Recent research has found that music paired with normal therapeutic tools provides additional restorative benefits for people with depression and anxiety, especially when compared to those who didn’t listen to music as part of their therapy. Certain sounds and compositions provide a relaxing effect that can help ease those uncertain feelings that come from a stressful day or anxious thoughts. Researchers at Stanford University have even said that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” They added that music is something that almost anyone can access, meaning it’s a simple stress reduction tool.
Just as upbeat music can make us feel more positive and alert, slower tempo music tends to instill a sense of calm and comfort. So, when stress or anxiety are at their highs, it’s the perfect time to hit play on something that will slow the mood – and your heart rate. Entire playlists exist on various digital platforms that can help listeners welcome calming energy and focus on relaxing the muscles where tension is held, like the back, neck, and shoulders.
Some types of music that can aid in relieving feelings of stress or anxiety can include:
- Memorable: Music that reflects on positive memories or special occasions that were meaningful. Maybe it’s a wedding or birthday, or even something that brings back a childhood memory.
- Happy: There are plenty of joyous melodies that can make you smile just by recalling the lyrics. They may be old, they may be recent, or they may even be remixes.
- Classical: Studies have shown that classical music, think Mozart and Bach, have settling qualities due to their tempo, length, and compositions. These can allow the listener to focus on the sounds instead of their thoughts, providing for an escape.
Make music an intentional strategy and choice for managing stress and anxiety. Prepare for the situation by searching out the style of music and a playlist that works for you. It’s a free solution that may have additional health benefits you don’t expect.
About Prakriti Poddar
Born in India, Prakriti Poddar was raised all over the world, moving from one country to another, from one boarding school to another. Amidst the environment changes, she remained fiercely connected to her own spirit. One constant in her life was visiting her grandmother, a prolific healer, and soothsayer who taught Prakriti faith healing before she learned how to read. Mental health and wellbeing are not just a passion for her. It’s a purpose that drives her everyday life mission. As the Global Head for Mental Health and Wellbeing at RoundGlass, she is a humanitarian advocate. Constantly building communities, initiatives, and outreach for mental health awareness and support, she focuses on building peace and harmony to address mental and emotional health. For more information, visit RoundGlass at Living.Round.Glass or follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Subscribe on YouTube or download the app in AppStore or GooglePlay.