We all know how soothing music can be. The right music can make all the difference when our nerves are frazzled or our bodyminds are exhausted. Why does music touch us on such a deep level?
Research has proven that music triggers the release of dopamine, the pleasure chemical. In fact, when we listen to our favorite music, our pupils dilate, our pulse rises and blood gets redirected to the muscles in our legs. Our bodies are primed for dancing or at least some serious toe tapping when we hear the music we love.
But music provides other benefits beyond delight. It helps us with memory recall. By stimulating the hippocampus it makes it easier for us to access what we learned previously. It creates physiological changes, such as increasing our level of antibodies, which in turn strengthen our immune system. It can help us to function better when anxious, and to relax when we’re too wired up.
Music adds to our quality of life in so many ways, some of which we now understand and others which remain mysterious. Read more about the wonders of music here .
Linda Anderson Krech, LICSW, is Program Director of the ToDo Institute and has been a frequent contributor to Thirty Thousand Days. She is the author of Little Dreams: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Parenting and has been teaching Japanese Psychology for over 20 years.