In the song “Party in the USA,” Miley Cyrus tells a story of stress that comes with going to a new city and trying to adapt to the environment. Then, one of her favorite songs is played, and suddenly, all her stress and anxiety starts to melt away. While this phenomenon might not be as instant as it happens in the song, music does have the ability to help lower your feelings of stress and anxiety. Let’s take a detailed look at the positive effect music has on your mental health.
How Does Music Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
In a 2017 study, the journal Psychology of Music found that people suffering from depression and anxiety were able to reduce their symptoms by listening to music. But how does music accomplish this feat? When you have high levels of stress or anxiety, your body naturally feels threatened, which releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Music has the potential to turn off the production of these stress hormones in your brain. This gives your mind a chance to recover from the pressure stress and anxiety put on your mental health.
What Are the Best Kinds of Music to Lower Stress and Anxiety?
It might be surprising that there are some types of music that are more relaxing and better at helping you relieve stress and anxiety. Light jazz, classical music, and the sounds of nature have research supporting their effectiveness in stress relief. To go a bit more in-depth, the beat and rhythm of the music play an important role.
For example, high tempo and loud music, such as heavy metal, is not as effective in helping reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also important to note that music you have positive connections with can also help you relax. Maybe there’s a song that you and your mother used to sing while cooking together. Listening to that song again can evoke the same positive emotions you felt in those moments.
It’s More than Just Listening to Music
While listening to music can help relieve stress, making music can have the same effect. If you play music on your own or with other people, your body releases endorphins that can elevate your mood. In fact, this is one of the reasons why music therapy has risen in popularity over the last few years. The good news is you don’t even need an instrument to get the benefits of making music. The simple act of singing can actually lower your cortisol levels and help improve your mood.
When to Use Music to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Significant life changes like getting a new job, moving, breaking up with someone, or moving to a new home often cause an overflow of stress and anxiety. During these life transitions, the change can trigger your fight-or-flight response. Finding a way to cope with the anxiety can help you feel less stressed from the next major life event that comes your way. When you find yourself in the middle of a significant life change, create a relaxation playlist to help you feel more calm.
While music can help relieve stress and anxiety, there are times when you need a more focused and personalized approach to help overcome a mental health condition. The good news is that mental health treatment centers like The Raleigh House offer expert mental health treatment in Colorado.
Find Personalized Mental Health Treatment at The Raleigh House
While trying to manage a mental health condition can be challenging, you don’t have to go through it alone. The expert mental health treatment team at The Raleigh House can help you regain your sense of purpose in life. Our team has over 10 years of experience helping overcome anxiety disorders, depression, complex trauma and other mental health conditions. If you or a loved one is interested in reclaiming your life, contact our admissions team today.