Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music for Mental Wellbeing

World Music Day: Don’t just sway, gain from listening to music

Music is not only a source of joy, it can have many surprising psychological gains.

“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.”— Aretha Franklin. This quote succinctly captures the impact music has on our emotions and memories.

You may have noticed too—when you are in a happy mood, you tend to reach for peppy tunes like Pharrell Williams’ Happy, making you feel more joyful and cheerful. Similarly, when dealing with a hard breakup, we’ve all had that phase where listening to Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain has made us calm. This natural inclination to turn to music for emotional support or to soothe our sorrows shows how deeply music affects our mood. Listening to music is entertaining, sure. But research suggests that music can not only be a source of joy but also have several surprising psychological gains.

A recent survey on music and brain health conducted by AARP, an interest group in the United States, found that those who regularly listen to music have lower levels of anxiety when compared to those who don’t. Indeed, music has many deep psychological effects on us; it is truly capable of shaping our emotions and enhancing our mental wellbeing.

A beautiful event, the World Music Day, originated in France in 1982 as Fête de la Musique. Celebrated on June 21st, this day is dedicated to honouring the universal language of music. World Music Day aims to promote the spirit of unity through music. On this special day, join us as we explore the surprising psychological benefits of listening to music.

Improves learning power

Looking to stimulate your mind while listening to music? Well, you are on the right track. Listening to music is known to improve one’s learning, memory and cognitive abilities. Several studies show that music activates various areas of the brain that are responsible for processing information. Music is also known to create a more stimulating learning environment, helping us retain information and improve our cognitive performance.

Helps you come out of a rut

Music day

There are times when we feel like we are stuck in a creative rut. We have those days when we struggle to write something creative or are unable to come up with a new idea. This is where music might just do the trick. Music provides the perfect background for innovative and creative thinking. Whether you love listening to rock music or are interested in Indian classical music, listening to any music really, can spark new ideas and enhance your problem-solving abilities. Indeed, music can help you break free from regular thinking patterns and open you to new, creative possibilities.

Kicks that stress out

Stress is part of our lives, whether we’re nervously waiting for our exam results or are  anxious about sharing new ideas at work. On top of that, some days make us feel more anxious and nervous than usual. But guess what? Music can always come to the rescue. In fact, one of the most wonderful and psychological benefits of music is its ability to ease stress. By listening to soothing tunes, we can lower our cortisol levels, the hormone that makes us feel stressed. Musical notes help create a state of relaxation and calm that is needed to drive stress away.

Doesn’t let you feel blue

We’ve all been there, waking up in the morning, feeling listless and wondering what to do with our life. Feeling low or blue is something that keeps returning in our busy lifestyles. Here, music can have a deep impact on our mood by helping regulate it. Upbeat, cheerful and lively tunes can make one feel happier. On the other hand, mellow songs can provide the comfort one needs during tough times. By selecting music that matches our emotional requirements, we can definitely manage our mood better.

Manages symptoms of depression, anxiety

For those dealing with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, music can offer some much-needed relief. Music therapy, a treatment that uses music to improve one’s mental health, can be implemented on individuals suffering from anxiety or depression. By engaging in music therapy, such people can express their emotions more easily. This therapy can also boost one’s mood and increase one’s self-awareness. For those anxious and suffering on a daily basis, it can provide a sense of comfort, making it a valuable tool for their overall emotional wellbeing.

Helps shed extra kilos

Bet you didn’t know this: playing slow music during meals can help you create a more relaxed dining atmosphere that makes you eat less. Yes, music might just be the road to shedding some of that extra weight! While hitting the gym, running, dieting and other techniques have their benefits, turns out music can help too. A slower pace of music encourages us to savour each bite we take and also recognise when we feel full. By choosing the right background music, we can actually promote healthier eating habits.

Reduces pain

Stubbed your toes? Play music. No, this isn’t an internet myth, music is actually known to relieve pain. Renowned American philanthropist and author Dr Debasish Mridha once stated that ‘music can heal the wounds that medicine cannot touch.’ This sentiment resonates deeply in the field of medicine, where music therapy is increasingly being recognised as a tool for pain management.

Indeed, music therapy is being used in many hospitals worldwide to assist patients with chronic pain and post-surgical aches. Music has analgesic properties, which means that it can help decrease the perception of pain. Music can also distract our mind and trigger the release of our body’s natural painkillers, which help soothe pain.

Induces better sleep

Many people listen to classical music before sleeping at night. Listening to calming and gentle music before bedtime can improve the quality of our sleep by promoting relaxation. Studies have shown that listening to soothing melodies can help induce a state of deep relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep.

From boosting creativity to reducing stress and managing pain, music offers several benefits that can enhance one’s mental and emotional wellbeing. So next time you reach for your headphones, remember that you’re not just grooving to your favourite music, you’re also doing wonders to your mental wellbeing.


Can music influence creativity and problem-solving abilities?

Yes, listening to music can inspire new ideas and creative problem-solving.

Does music affect stress reduction?

Music has been shown to have a deep impact on stress reduction by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Also, calming music can promote a sense of peace and wellbeing in many.

How does music contribute to inner happiness?

Music plays a significant role in regulating our mood. Lively tunes can cheer us up and mellow songs can provide comfort during difficult times.

What is the significance of World Music Day?

World Music Day is celebrated globally on June 21st. This day serves as a reminder of the psychological benefits of music. It’s a time to celebrate the power of music to unite people across communities.




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