700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Get in Rhythm! Music is Good for Your Child’s Health!

Jan 10, 2019
Learn about NICU Follow-up Care and the power of music therapy.

Many people enjoy music, but did you know that it can be good for your health? While many of us feel the positive effects of music, neuroscience and music psychology help us understand how music can improve wellness.

Music Can Improve Mood

Have you ever noticed that you’re attracted to music that matches how you feel? Many people feel a sense of relief or validation from slow, melancholy music when they’re sad; pounding, intense music when they’re angry; or upbeat, soulful music when they’re happy. Whatever your musical preferences are, listening to music causes the brain to produce hormones called endorphins, known as the “happy” hormones that make us feel better.

Music Can Enhance Self-Esteem

Healthy uses of music can help people have a better view of themselves. For example, learning a musical skill such as a new instrument can promote a sense of motivation and accomplishment. Songs with lyrics that focus on a positive message can remind listeners of their self-worth and promote a healthy attitude. Some music may have a harmful effect on people’s self-esteem, so it is important to pay attention to music selection if you find it leading to negative thoughts or feelings.

Music Helps Regulate Behavior

Music – particularly rhythm – helps provide structure for the human body to regulate. For example, many people naturally tend to walk to the beat of music playing without thinking about it. Many athletes prefer to listen to upbeat music while working out because it makes physical activity feel easier. This response, known as “entrainment,” helps brains pattern behavior, sustain attention and stabilize other responses, such as breathing and heart rate.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a clinical and research-based service that uses music interventions delivered by a board-certified music therapist to achieve health-related goals, like reducing depression and anxiety, expressing emotions and developing coping skills. To learn more about music therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, visit: www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/music-therapy.

You can now add your favorite song to our On Our Sleeves playlist. Learn more!

Featured Expert

Sara Bentley, MT-BC
Psychosocial Services

Sara Bentley is a board-certified music therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital main campus. Sara has provided group and individual music therapy sessions to behavioral health patients for two years. Sara’s passion is seeing patients discover a new love for music and find ways of using music for their mental health.

All Topics

Browse by Author

Join On Our Sleeves

Sign up for behavioral health resources and information, advocacy opportunities and more.

Join the movement for children's mental health.

About this Blog

Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.