Are There Mental or Physical Health Benefits to Listening to Music?

Are There Mental or Physical Health Benefits to Listening to Music?


Music is something potent, and many people will say that their favourite music can change their mood.  We all have different likes when it comes to music, from heavy metal to classical, country and western to pop culture, but for some of us, the music seems to act as medicine for what ails us really.  They say that music calms the savage beast, but is there any facts to back up our feelings?  The answer is a resounding yes.  Music can indeed offer measurable and medically evidenced mental and physical benefits.


A Great Way to Relieve Stress


Depending on the choice of music, and again varying from person to person, listening to music can actually have a therapeutic effect on the brain and cause the stress hormones to decrease and the feel-good happy hormones to increase.  The science behind this claim does suggest that classical music is best here, but for some people, this would act as an antagonist as they do not like this genre of music.  Whatever the style of music is fair to say that music with a slow beat will generally induce a slower brainwave speed, which has been compared to the process of meditation or hypnosis.


Boost Your Mood


Conversely, music can also be used to boost your mood, which would see the physiology of the body increased.  Feel good happy hormones can be soporific, as the example above, or arousing whereby a surge of positivity and energy can be felt.  Naturally to achieve this effect the music would need to be of a more upbeat nature, so faster beats to the tune would be required.  Most people will remember hearing a particular track that naturally made them want to smile, and this is the basis of the evidence to this benefit of music.  So if you are feeling a little blue, pop on some bright and cheerful tunes, and you should begin to feel better.


Positive Pain Management


While the first two examples relate to music being beneficial to mental health, there are also proven cases of music being able to aid physical health.  Studies have been carried out in various branches of medicine, including intensive care patients and those receiving palliative care, which proves music can help reduce pain intensity.  While the study concedes the music may only change the patient’s perception of their pain levels, the fact that they report them to be lower means they are suffering less.


Recovery From Strokes


Building on these studies work has been carried out in Finland that supports the theory that music can also improve prognosis and speed up recovery for people that have suffered a stroke.  The music developed both their attention and memory which are key factors in this type of recovery.  They were also able to demonstrate that the mood of patients who were using music as therapy was better than those who were not.


So, there are mental and physical health benefits to listening to music, so grab your iPod and headphones and get listening to your favourite bands.

How Music Motivates You and Improves Your Workouts

How Music Motivates You and Improves Your Workouts


Head into any gym, and you will more than likely be greeted by a barrage of gym users plugged into a variety of headsets listening to music.  Many establishments also have big screens streaming music videos, sometimes with the sound off, or sometimes on for those who prefer not to be plugged in. Music is definitely the in thing for workouts but why does it motivate you and improve your workout?


It Distracts the Mind


Getting through a series of lifts or powering through 10 minutes of running can often feel like a form of torture and users begin to doubt their reasons for even being in the gym.  However adding some music can help to distract your mind from the exercise in progress and aid you to power on through to the end. Various studies have concluded that the best music for the gym should be fast and heavy beats, and such is the popularity that whole collection albums have been released with some of the best on offer.


Gets You in the Zone


Whether your tunes of choice invoke memories or remind you of your fitness goals music is a powerful motivator.  Getting in the zone means that you will work harder and longer without noticing that you are tiring or feeling that you are wasting your time.  Channel your inner rock god and allow the music to take you to your zone where you will knock out a cracking workout that will soon show you physical improvement.


Stay on Track


Do you find yourself running to the beat, or adjusting the speed of the treadmill to match the beat? Music has that awesome effect and acts on the area of the brain responsible for motor skills.  Running at a constant pace is actually better than slowing and speeding up throughout the workout so pick a couple of tunes with a similar beat and power on through.


Feel Good


Music has been around longer than the modern gym, and it comes as no surprise that it can change moods and mental health.  Upbeat, feel-good tunes are perfect for lifting the mood.  So if you are hitting the gym early in the morning or after a hard day in the office and would cheerfully be anywhere else, line up a feel-good playlist.  Not only do you get to hear your favourite tunes but you are also triggering the feel-good chemicals in the brain.  This should make getting through your workout with a smile easy.  Listening to songs designed to make you want to move are also an excellent way to enhance your workout. When your brain is stimulated to release feel-good hormones you are going to want to get up and move your body.  The more you move, the better your workout will be.  You can even dance your way between equipment!


The fact that music is good for motivation and improves workouts has been scientifically proven, so spend some time creating the perfect gym playlist and see the improvement for yoursel

Best Live Music Venues in the UK and Abroad

Best Live Music Venues in the UK and Abroad


One of the best ways to see the bands you love is to catch them on tour.  With demand for live concerts at an all-time high, the biggest priority for most venues is capacity.  For most people seeing their music heroes is enough and the acoustics of the building or place are not so important.  But to be fair, there are some venues across that really are the best for a live music experience.


The Royal Albert Hall, London, UK


Although this venue is mostly synonymous with classical music and events like The Proms, you cannot undervalue the experience of seeing live music at The Royal Albert Hall.  The grand and regal looking interior may look too formal for anything but the classics, but plenty of big named popular music acts have queued to play there.  Traditionally, and somewhat quirkily, ice cream is always served during the interval which really just adds to the unforgettable experience.


Brixton Academy, London, UK


A name of rock gods.The Brixton Academy is a must visit venue for anyone who wants a truly authentic and exceptional live music experience.  With first-rate acoustics and a sloping stage offering the audience the best views, it is easy to see why this ranks above the top live music venues.


Rock City, Nottingham, UK


Leaving the capital city, and heading north to Nottingham, Rock City is known as ‘the’ venue for rock bands.  Loud but acoustically perfect the venue has played host to many big names over the decades.  From David Bowie to Nirvana, many legends have graced the sate and this is a must visit venue for serious music moguls.


Sala Apolo, Barcelona


Doubling as a nightclub for the local area, this famous venue also plays host to some of the hottest acts around.  While the main stage area is seating free for those who want to get down and boogie, the upper floor has a more casual and relaxed area for punters who want to sit, chill and enjoy the tunes.


Paradiso, Amsterdam


In the 19th century, this stunning venue was a church.  It has since been tastefully converted and is now one of the best live music venues in Amsterdam.  There is also a nightclub on site, but the names that have played this excellent place rank among some of the biggest music gods of all times.  Think The Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, to more recently Lady Gaga and Adele.

Skylark Lounge, Austin, Texas


Hopping across the pond, the number of live music venues in America are simply mind-blowing, so there is no way of narrowing down the best of the best, but the Skylark Lounge is certainly a powerful contender.  A small but intimate venue the acoustics are first-rate, and the experience is something that will stay with you forever.


There are so many excellent live music venues all over the world it would be impossible to list them all, but certainly there are times when it pays to see your favourite band in a smaller venue designed specifically for live music rather than a multipurpose giant venue only really interested in capacity.