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Music: A Creative Part of Your Wellness Program

Hans Christian Andersen said, "Where words fail, music speaks." Music can quiet the mind, calm, inspire and evoke memories from our past. We turn to music in times of struggle and in times of celebration. From listening to music in the car to attending a concert, music has the unique ability to bring us together in a unifying way. We know music makes us feel good, but could it also have an impact on our health?

Researchers and scientists have studied the effects of music on the mind and body for years. They found that listening to music does have health benefits, but it's not just listening to music that's helpful. Singing itself, on your own or in a group, out of tune or in tune, can help increase mood and decrease stress levels. One research study showed improved neuroplasticity of the brain after one year of taking singing lessons. In another study, people living with cancer who sang in a choir were found to have improved moods after choir rehearsal and reported a feeling of belonging by participating in the group. The Institute of Music and Neurologic Function does ongoing research on music therapy and its effects on people living with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, dementia and other neurological illnesses. In many studies, music therapy was shown to decrease depression and anxiety and had a positive impact on making behavioral changes.

So, music does benefit health by:

  • Boosting memory
  • Improving focus and concentration
  • Enhancing positive emotions in the brain
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Aiding in pain management by releasing endorphins
  • Increasing endurance and exercise performance

For many, music is an essential part of the holiday season. So this year, sing loudly, proudly and reap the benefits for your wellness.