Netflix binging is great and a cheaper route than Xanax. But if you’re feeling some level of screen fatigue like most human beings right about now, and needing to evade the blues, try taking a listen to some songs that will help you to get to your happy place, even if it’s for just a little while. Not to mention, there are loads of scientific studies showing music can improve your mood and ward off depression. It can also improve blood flow in ways somewhat similar to statins as well as lower your levels of stress-related hormones such as cortisol. Lastly, listening to music has been shown to ease pain. As a matter of fact, listening to music before surgery has been shown to improve post-surgical outcomes.
Listening to music seems to “selectively activate” neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention and memory in ways that promote beneficial changes, says Kim Innes, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health. Further, there’s no one single music listening center in the brain as it has the ability to activate nearly every region of the brain mapped out so far. This then would speak to the reason music is indeed so universal and why it’s such a powerful tool in affecting our moods.
So do yourself a solid and listen to some happy music the next time you’re starting to feel down. Who knows, it might just put a little spring in your step. And right now, that’s something we all could use a little more of.