Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ICU (Japan) chapter.

Music is close to us in our lives and fulfills various functions. I think many people have had the experience of listening to their favorite song and getting energized and motivated by the power of music. What kind of influence does music have on the mind and body?


The effects of music on the mind and body are complex and can be broadly divided into three aspects.


① Direct effects on physiological and physical levels

Music that comes in through your ears is transmitted to your brain and affects your entire body. It acts on the autonomic nervous system to change your heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in excitement, sedation, and relaxation. Simultaneously, it has been shown to affect one’s state of mind and activate emotions, perceptions, and cognitions.


② Indirect influence

The memories and emotions that are recalled by listening to music also affected. For example, listening to songs that were popular in your childhood and youth can bring back memories of those days and brighten your heart as you immerse yourself in those fun memories.


③ Social aspects that connect people

Enjoying music with others can also create connections. For example, singing with someone, shaking your body, or dancing to music can create a sense of intimacy and companionship.


woman with headphones under tree
Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels

Tips for relieving stress with music


Although there is no music that serves as a “magic bullet” that works for everyone, it is possible to derive recommended “principles” for each psychological state and stress nature based on the essential characteristics of music.


Listening to a song that suits your feelings and is easy to sympathize with will help relieve stress. For example, when you want to get rid of your frustration, it is effective to choose a fierce song. On the other hand, when you are feeling down, relaxed and gentle music is recommended. When you feel calm, gradually increase the tempo, and you will feel better. However, be aware that if you continue to listen to dark music when you are depressed, you may feel even sadder.


If you are tired of socializing or want to concentrate, listen to music that has as simple a rhythm and sound as possible. If you miss someone, listen to music that incorporates emotional expressions. As I get into the music and sympathize with the lyrics, and comfort myself, I feel encouraged.


Besides, it is easy to remember what you experienced in your youth, and songs you repeatedly listened to when you were younger will remain in your heart for the rest of your life. Songs that feel nostalgic tend to evoke positive emotions such as joy, happiness, satisfaction, and relaxation. It might be a good idea to listen to the music you liked at the time and forget about the stressful reality.


Music is being used in society too.


The power of music is also used in hospitals and long-term care facilities. “Music therapy” relieves physical and mental health effects.


In the United States and other countries, music therapists who are specialists in music therapy are enrolled in hospitals and are working on the mental care of patients. Music has functions and benefits that lead to metally health recovery such as activating the brain and controlling emotions. In today’s stress-prone society, it may support various difficulties. 


What kind of songs do you want to listen to right now? Let’s find the music that makes you happy!


Ayaka Kuroki

ICU (Japan) '22

Hi! I am Ayaka and am currently a senior at International Christian University, majoring in sociology. I was born in Japan, grew up in Singapore, Taiwan, and UAE-Dubai. I simply love nature, traveling, eating, and singing.
Articles anonymously written by HCICU Contributors.