Contemporary music world stars such as Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Adele have repeatedly mentioned that music has helped them cope with anxiety or depression. Stanford University studies show that music with a rhythmic melody can have similar effects on human brain function as meditation. Its advantage is that it is available to almost anyone and can serve as a proper tool for stress relief. What specific genres can support our mental health?
1) Classical music for effective relaxation
Classical music offers much more besides being sophisticated and beautiful. In particular, gentler soft compositions help to slow down the pulse and heart rate. Listening to the calming works of important composers, such as Fryderyk Chopin, can reduce high blood pressure and evoke a feeling of relaxation. For the most effective rest, scientists recommend music at about 60 BPM (beats per minute). For example, Claude Debussy’s famous song Clair De Lune reaches a pleasant 65 beats per minute.
2) Ambient music for deeper sleep
Listening to slower melodies also helps with sleep. It affects not only emotional and mental relaxation, but also releases muscle tension. Academics from the University of Southern California have confirmed that orchestral or ambient music can help with insomnia and fundamentally support sleep. According to them, Brahms or Bach can help, but other authors recommend icons of ambient music, such as Roger and Brian Eno. Their recent album Mixing Colours sounds like a lovely music dream that you don’t want to wake up from. If ambient music does not suit you, the sounds of rain or ocean work similarly well.
3) Soundtracks for higher productivity
Researchers from the University of Ulm have suggested that listening to music is actually connected to the capacity of working memory. In other words, the higher the working memory capacity, the better one learns accompanied by music playing in the background. We all differ in our tastes and look for other art forms, the same goes for choosing a genre that boosts your good vibes. Besides modern classical music, videogame or film soundtracks that combine ambient approach with a narrative epic dimension, can also help with productivity. These criteria are guaranteed to be met by the extraordinary Hans Zimmer.
4) Jazz for the needed distraction
We don’t always need to concentrate or rest calmly. Fun or distraction can affect our brain and mental health as well. Immerse yourself in complex melodies and be amazed by the abilities of artists. They may not only distract you from everyday worries, but also provoke new passions. Whether you prefer electronics, rock, or rap, looking for beauty in music is uplifting. Have you ever listened to records of jazz virtuosos like Miles Davis in your free time? Try it.
5) Pop hits for well-being
We don’t need psychological analysis and neurological studies to know how nice it is to sing freely at times. Whistling the melody of your favourite radio hit or roaring the chorus of a rock ballad will help you release tension and overcome stress. Singing alone or in a group of your loved ones can have a positive impact on your well-being. Singing is capable of suppressing a hormone called cortisol, which causes stress. So, the only thing left is to play your favourite song and sing along.