In my childhood home we did not have many rules, but one of them was that acoustic music from Siriusxm The Coffee House had to be playing from the tv at all times. My mom lives by the statement, “you cannot be sad when you’re singing”. To this day, I follow her advice and sing all of my worries away, even though I am a terrible singer. Originally, I thought it was a family custom to treat stress with music; however music seems to be as beneficial as medication for stress management.
Music has positive physiologic and mental effects on the body. Classical music or slow, calming music can connect the mind and body to the extent of lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and even cortisol levels. Calming these physiologic stress responses can quickly reduce mental anxiety. Music is also a form of distraction, which prevents the mind from wandering. This distracting effect has been proven to help people focus on the task at hand, whether it be studying, exercising, or even meditating. Music also serves as a catalyst for expressing emotions. Upbeat music has been shown to increase self esteem and boost mood, whereas people have reported feeling better after singing along to a sad song. This being said, my mom was not wrong in saying singing elevates mood.
When in Doubt, Add Music
Intertwining music into everyday life can help reduce stress significantly. Whether it is singing in the car, the shower, or having fun at a karaoke night, “you cannot be sad when you’re singing”. Personally, I always have music on in the background when I am doing homework or chores around the house, and I recommend everyone put the power of music to the test the next time they are feeling down or stressed. For those who are wondering, yes, I did listen to music the entire time I was writing this article.