There was no better feeling than popping in your Whitney Houston cassette tape in the boom box, pulling your permed hair in a high, scrunchie-held pony, and throwing on your geo printed leotard, neon leg warmers and metallic leggings to get physical for a few hours. And for good reason! Listening to music has been shown to dramatically boost your health and your mood which is why we just can’t get enough. So, whether you are a Material Girl or a Dancing Queen, be a maniac on the (kitchen) floor. Your body - and mind - will definitely thank you!
Here are 6 reasons why pumping up the jams is always good for you!
Makes You Happier
Just like the anthem of the late ‘80s, music can also help- don’t worry, be happy! According to the research, when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. This emotional boost gives you a “natural high” that translates into a whole lot of good energy and positive vibes.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Sorry, Pat, but there is no anxiety here! By listening to music, you can prevent a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, while also decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is super important as it counteracts the effects of chronic stress and anxiety as well as delivers a boost to the immune system (which is much needed as stress is the cause for up to 60% of all our illnesses and disease!)
Helps You Exercise
Whether you jazzercised with Richard Simmons or walked 500 miles, we’ve all jammed out to music while working out. It turns out that when listening to music while exercising, your body not only tends to move at a faster pace, but it also increases the length of time you work out. So, go ahead, get those Buns of Steel!
You thought the adventures in babysitting three rambunctious kids were hard? Try remembering why you walked into the kitchen! The good news is that the repetitive elements of rhythm and melody in music has been shown to help brains form patterns that enhance memory and increase focus and attention.
While the pain of yesteryear (dirty dancing in 4-inch heels) is a bit different now (sneezing and blowing out your back), music has been shown to help with pain management. It is not exactly clear as to why, however it is hypothesized that it has to do with dopamine and cortisol release. Because stress and pain are so closely linked, music’s impact on decreasing stress may play a role in decreasing pain.
Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia or are not getting enough good sleep. By adding in a calming rhythm of the night 45 minutes before shutting your eyes, your body is able to decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and release oxytocin (the calming hormone), which naturally promotes melatonin (the sleep hormone).