One of the most powerful forces on the planet is so commonplace, we almost take it for granted: it’s music.
Music can calm us down or rev us up. It brings back fond memories and helps heal broken hearts. It gets us through the tough times and helps us celebrate the good times.
Music has the power to bring unresponsive dementia patients back to life, and it’s proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Studying the link between music and the brain has been a popular field of study for neuroscientists and psychologists for more than 20 years, but our connection to and fascination with music is as old as time itself.
Why Music Affects Us
Feeling Groovy’s Event Manager Phyllis Douglass, who is also an amazing singer and musician, loves that sound transcends everything.
“Everyone is affected by sound,” says Phyllis. “We don’t have to speak the same language, or be from the same country, or have the same religion.”
It’s all pretty simple and elemental. Everything that exists is energy—waves vibrating at a particular frequency. So, the frequency and vibration of sound—whether it’s a violin or a Himalayan singing bowl or a human voice—has an effect on our own vibratory frequency, explains Phyllis.
“That’s the key to sound or music therapy,” she says.
Music affects the physical body, the mind and the emotions. The universal appeal of music is one of the reasons Phyllis chose to work with sound in her therapeutic practice. And, she’s bringing more music and dance events to Feeling Groovy. (Click here to learn about the upcoming Ecstatic Dance evening on April 21.)
Set Your Day to Music
Here are some easy and everyday ways to incorporate the power of music into your life. Kind of like an evolving soundtrack of your day. For a reminder, be sure to pin the infographic to your favorite Pinterest board.
Wake up to gentler tones. Instead of the siren-like, beeping blare of standard alarm bells, try Uplift, Slow Rise and Chimes on your iPhone.
Rev up with high energy tunes. Make music a part of your morning routine! Create a playlist with your favorite toe-tapping tunes, or use a curated playlist like Wake Up from Spotify.
Rock out your work out. Research proves that people swim faster, run farther, and cycle longer while listening to music. The beat matters (our heart rate can sync to it) so go for an uptempo rock or hip-hip mix.
Get to work with instrumental. If you’re starting something new or need to get a project finished, opt for instrumental music. It helps to stimulate the creative side of the brain, while not distracting the logical side with words it has to figure out.
Move through the afternoon. Fight the afternoon energy dip with toe-tapping beats of pop, Latin, or country. Whatever makes you feel like moving—and doesn’t drive your coworkers crazy.
Unwind with smooth jazz or classical. At the end of the day, you’ll need something relaxing to relieve the normal tensions of work and traffic. Cue up a jazz or classical playlist on your favorite music app as you prepare dinner … and keep it playing while you eat. (Relaxed muscles help with good digestion.)
Fall asleep to soothing sounds. There’s a reason lullabies lulled us to sleep as babies. Studies have shown that their melodic tones and rhythmic sway reduces heart rate and calms anxiety and pain. For grownup versions of lullabies, try one of the music sleep stories on the Calm app the next time you’re fidgety at sleep time.