“The best thing about music is when it hits you feel no pain” sang Bob Marley in his album Trench Town Rock, and true to his words, music indeed relaxes you, makes you cheerful and simply strikes the right chord with your soul. Whether you feel happy or sad, stressed or calm, you would definitely relate to a particular kind of music in any situation. Maybe that’s the reason why music is called a therapy, remedy, or cure, rather than mere entertainment.
Music is an aesthetically and acoustically organized tone that has a built in beauty which can only be felt by the listener. Exposure to music relaxes our brain as it is repetitive, melodious and soft. It has an emotional connect to it to which a person is able to feel the emotions brimming up his heart whenever he listens to a happy or sad song. When you are able to feel the tone of the song, even if you do not understand a single word of the lyrics, you still enjoy the song.
How does music soothe you? What is it that makes you feel good when you start playing your favorite song? Everything boils down to a simple answer: the chemical reaction that takes place when you listen to music. Music helps in releasing an essential hormone, called dopamine that is responsible for activating the pleasurable feelings that you experience while listening to music.
The image below shows the different parts of the brain that are involved in listening to and enjoying some form of music. And as we gather from the image, the portion called the Amygdala actually helps a person experience the emotions that arise from a given song.
Effect of Music on Heart Rate
Whenever we talk of music, we always say that a particular song/tune touched our heart. Although the chemical reaction takes place in the brain, we generally direct the effect of music towards the heart. Why? That is because we feel from our heart and think from our brains. Music too is felt, understood and experienced that way. Therefore, the type of music that we are exposed to plays an important role in determining our heart rate.
The graph below shows the effect of melodious and a hard rock song on the heart rate; the blue bar represents the normal heart rate and the red bar represents the heart rate after listening to the songs.
Music as a Therapy
In today’s stressful work conditions and environment it is highly difficult to be sane all the time. The work pressure combined with other personal pressure becomes too much to handle and often we find ourselves feeling depressed. In such situations, music becomes the handy remedy to divert ourselves from these tough times and find solace. In fact, music therapists help their clients in a non-verbal or musical way to ease their stresses. They either play some soft melodies with their instruments and encourage the clients to play along, or make the clients listen to some melodious songs to soothe them. Their response to the therapy is monitored and their progress is recorded. Significant improvement has been observed through such therapies in the overall welfare of the individual.
If you ever feel completely drained out, don’t hesitate to play your favorite song as the best thing about music is when it hits you feel no pain!