As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 20 – Summer 2022
Music is a powerful thing, and as musicians and music enthusiasts, we understand just how valuable music can be not only for invoking emotions or telling a story but for helping our mental health heal and thrive. The benefits of music for healing extend beyond mental health, though, with scientific studies gathering evidence that shows a way to target music to help with inflammation, stress, sleep issues, anxiety, indigestion, mindfulness, and breathwork, all with the use of specific sounds.
With all the “healing products” on the market, it seems almost too easy to reap health benefits from a musical piece, but as musicians, don’t we know better than anyone how something simple can evoke a huge reaction?
The Healing Power of Music
Utilizing music to improve mental health has long been acknowledged and implemented due to its ability to calm the mind, ease anxiety, and improve our mood. While many factors tie into these abilities, one of the primary contributors is an area of the brain highly stimulated by music, called the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, which is also responsible for emotion and memory. This connection that exists in the structure of our brain means that listening to music directly stimulates the portion of the brain responsible for mood and memory, which is often why certain songs can transport you in time and modify your mood.
However, the benefits of music can also offer physical benefits that might not be as obvious. For example, studies have found that targeted music treatment (i.e., using a specific type of music to stimulate a desired response) offers treatment for asthma and autism.
Those who suffer from brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and epilepsy also benefit immensely from targeted therapy and can often retrieve a piece of their past self that many consider lost to the disease.
Wellness Apps Use Music to Heal
There’s a reason why music therapy is growing in popularity across all communities; the power of music is being harnessed as a way to increase health and improve healing — through wellness apps utilizing music to heal, which are rising in popularity. The advantage of combining these benefits with a mobile app and its easy-to-use interface revolves primarily around the increased convenience offered. A healing music soundtrack that can improve both your mental and physical well-being is always just a few taps on a screen away, no matter where you may be. Not only that, but many of these apps combine their music with meditation, which is another method of calming the mind, reducing stress, and achieving a healthier state of mind.
Music has an intrinsic healing property that can change your emotions, enhance your memory, and improve your overall health. Whether you want to use something that heals a specific area or work through your emotions with music journaling, there is an app available that can help you achieve the results you wish.
Do your research on music apps that will best suit your needs and experience the benefits of music in an easy-to-use format that is always just a tap away.
El Haj, M., Antoine, P., Nandrino, J., Gély-Nargeot, M., & Raffard, S. (2015). Self-defining memories during exposure to music in Alzheimer’s disease. International Psychogeriatrics, 27(10), 1719-1730. doi: 10.1017/s1041610215000812
Sliwka, A., Wloch, T., Tynor, D., & Nowobilski, R. (2014). Do asthmatics benefit from music therapy? A systematic review. Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 22(4), 756-766. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.07.002
Mayer-Benarous, H., Benarous, X., Vonthron, F., & Cohen, D. (2021). Music Therapy for Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder and/or Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: A Systematic Review. Frontiers In Psychiatry, 12. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.643234
Tang, Q., Huang, Z., Zhou, H., & Ye, P. (2020). Effects of music therapy on depression: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLOS ONE, 15(11), e0240862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240862