Welcome to Week 5!
Another of our favorite doctors is MUSIC. We could not live without music.
“I think music in itself is healing,” musician Billy Joel once said.
“It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” Most of us would wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and it is this universal bond with music that has led researchers across the globe to investigate its therapeutic potential.
We can all think of at least one song that, when we hear, it triggers an emotional response. It might be a song that accompanied the first dance at your wedding, for example, or a song that reminds you of a difficult break-up or the loss of a loved one.
“We have such a deep connection to music because it is ‘hardwired’ in our brains and bodies,” Barbara Else, senior advisor of policy and research at the American Music Therapy Association told Medical News Today. “The elements of music – rhythm, melody, etc. – are echoed in our physiology, functioning and being.”
Given the deep connection we have with music, it is perhaps unsurprising that numerous studies have shown it can benefit our mental health. A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.
But why does music appear to ease pain? While the exact mechanisms remain unclear, many researchers believe one reason is because listening to music triggers the release of opioids in the brain, the body’s natural pain relievers.
Week 5 Actions:
- Create a playlist on Youtube or Spotify with your favorite songs from childhood. Listening to these songs that made you happy when you were a kid, can bring lots of joy and beautiful memories in the present.
- Select a song that is relaxing and uplifting for you. Cue it up to play in the background for a moment of meditation.
Before you start your meditation, come into a relaxed sitting position and start breathing in through your nose and exhale out through your mouth and just calm your mind. When you feel relaxed, start the music.
- During the day repeat the following affirmation: “Music brings joy, happiness and connection into my life.”
- Book a concert, or festival within the next 3 months, and enjoy the beauty and the joy that music brings into your life.