Get in Rhythm! Music is Good for Your Child’s Health!
Jan 10, 2019
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 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!
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.
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