Music for the Soul – Integrating Music into Daily Life

Music for the Soul – Integrating Music into Daily Life

Sep 22 2021

Music has been used throughout history to tell stories, inspire change, connect people and pass on information.

You hear music every day — sometimes without even noticing — through commercials, on the radio, TV shows and more. Did you know music can improve your mood, help your memory and have an impact on your everyday activities? Harvard Health Publishing says, “The human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to distinguish music from noise and to respond to rhythm and repetition, tones and tunes….a varied group of studies suggests that music may enhance human health and performance.”

So, what can music help you with throughout your day? Here are some common ways to integrate music into your everyday life so you can start noticing the positive benefits.

6 a.m. Warm up your brain

Mozart was on to something when composing his masterpieces. Studies (like the Mozart Effect) have shown that listening to just ten minutes of classical music wakes up your brain, and even forces it to do some math (you read that right – math!) The time signature and notes of a song can be broken down much like division in math. Your brain may be doing mini math equations in your head and not even know it. Maybe it’s time to change your alarm clock to play some Beethoven.

7 a.m. Wake up happy

It may seem pretty obvious — but listening to some of your favorite songs is an easy way to boost your mood. Have a song that always puts a smile on your face? That’s no coincidence — Psychology Today says, “Music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses such as chills and thrills in listeners. Positive emotions dominate musical experiences. Pleasurable music may lead to the release of neurotransmitters associated with reward, such as dopamine.” So next time you are showering, brushing your teeth and getting changed in the morning, play some of your favorite songs to start your day in a better mood. Here’s a list to get you started.

7:30 a.m. Elevate your drives

Having a radio is a staple in almost any car. But did you know the music you are listening to can actually affect the way you drive? One study found that listening to calm or upbeat music can cause the driver to have a more calm and positively impacted mood, resulting in feelings of patience and decreased road rage. Continue to turn on your calming and upbeat jams to get you from point A to point B — safely and calmly.

4 p.m. Music strengthens learning and memory

Stuck in a rut? Music has been proven to help you learn, recall and memorize information. Do you wonder why some of the most basic things are sung in song? Think of songs you learned like the “ABCs,” “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” and “The Hokey Pokey.” Each of these songs helps you learn and grow from a young age. It’s no wonder these songs have been around for years and continue to show up. Next time you need to learn or memorize something — make a quick song or jingle to keep you on task.

6 p.m. Turn up that beat!

You’ve made it through the day, and now it’s time to get a quick sweat sesh in. Not only does the music help relieve your boredom and give your mind something to focus on, it improves your mood and helps you keep on beat. Studies show that faster-paced music tends to help improve athletic performance when you engage in low-to-moderate level exercise. There are specific playlists on streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music to help you complete your workout. Some even focus on the beats per minute in a song to help you keep pace while you run, keeping you movin’ and groovin’. Not to mention — you can always dance around to music for a quick mood booster.

10 p.m. Wind down before bed

After a busy day, it’s time to let your mind destress and unwind. Multiple studies have shown that music can lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Tune into some of these videos to help you catch some Z’s.

So next time you’re feeling a bit off or need a quick pick-me-up — put on your favorite playlist, turn on the car radio, or sing (and dance) along while making dinner. The effects of music go far beyond something that is playing in the background. Incorporating music into your everyday routine is any easy way to impact your mood.

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