Using Music as a Form of Self-Care

The brain is so complex and music is so powerful that the two can interact and allow music to evoke certain emotions just by listening. The effect music has on the brain even has the ability to reduce pain.

If you think about it, you may experience different emotions depending on if you’re listening to slow songs which may cause sadness, or upbeat songs which may cause happiness or excitement. You may even notice that you feel a physical change in yourself in response to your favorite song coming—maybe your heart beats faster, you feel the desire to move your limbs and dance, and the urge to sing along overwhelms you. 

Music is a great way to lift your spirits while aiding in your wellness when you’re feeling down. It is a great tool to integrate into your self-care routine.

The Biology of Music

Biomusicology is a field of study that focuses on music and its effect from a biological perspective. To get an idea of just how beneficial music can be in your life and how it can be used for self-care, it’s helpful to understand what happens in your body to create such a dynamic response. To break down exactly how we hear music and allow it to create an emotional sensation within us, we must first talk about perception.

Perception is your ability to detect the five senses (touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight) and consciously recognize them to interact with the world. When it comes to music, sound waves emitted from the music source come in contact with your ear and affect your neurons, which are the cells in your brain that allow you to perceive the world. 

These aren’t the only cells in your brain involved in hearing and reacting to music. You also have cells that connect to all regions of your body to help you express your emotions, whether that be physically or sensationally, and also to help you move. The sound waves you receive from music tell your brain to communicate to different parts of your body to help you “feel” the music and react to it. This may mean connecting to your heart to express the emotional response you may have to lyrics that resonate with your life experiences, or connecting to your foot to make you tap to the beat.

Music can play with your emotions, either heightening or changing them, and can influence you physically with the urge to dance, clap, or move to the rhythm.

Finding a Song That Fits Your Mood

The brain is perhaps the most intelligent organ in the human body as it is able to recognize different aspects of music and respond appropriately to various tones, rhythms, pitches, timbres, and more. According to biomusicological research, here are some tips to help you know what song to pick based on how you’re feeling.

  • Happy:

    If you’re feeling happy, you may notice that you smile more and you have a tingly, feel-good feeling in your stomach that won’t seem to go away. Music that feels happy or evokes happiness tends to be more high-pitched with high beats per minute (BPM) but isn’t too intense.

  • Anxious:

    Feelings of anxiousness can include an increase in body temperature, faster heartbeat, and sweating to name a few. Music that matches this mood includes lower-pitched songs with a rapid BPM.

  • Sad:

    This type of music might be the easiest to detect because you might immediately experience a sinking-like feeling. Music associated with sadness may have low pitches and low BPM.

With this information, you can decide what music choice is best for you according to your feelings. If you’re feeling sad, you can try to pick up your mood by playing a song with characteristics that don’t fit the sad category. The same goes for feelings of anxiety and happiness. You may even find it beneficial to play happy music even when you are happy to amp up your excitement even more.

Get the Most out of Your Healing Journey

To get an even greater experience alongside using your self-care techniques, whether that be listening to music, journaling, pampering yourself, or even seeking professional help that provides you with mental health care and medication, use the power of music to influence your emotions. Knowing how music affects your brain and body can help you know what you need when you’re feeling some way that you want to change or heighten. You can get the most out of your healing journey when you use music as a form of self-care to change bad moods for the better and keep the good ones going.

Music can provide your body with sensations that are hard to explain. It can be even more difficult to imagine that your brain has control over your reactions to different kinds of music. Educating yourself on how your body works can help you find ways to use music to help deal with issues you’re facing and improve your mental health and well-being. If you’re a lover of music, this is the perfect place to start your healing journey. Even if you’re not, music can be a powerful tool to affect change in your overall mental health status. If you struggle to maintain a healthy, happy outlook on life due to mental health issues, let SokyaHealth help you gather the best tools to remedy this problem. At Sokya, services led by our team provide unique treatment methods to help you heal. For more information, call 800-930-0803.

More than 50% of Americans struggle with mental health.

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