Listen to Music for a Better Brain and Body
Research suggests that listening to music bestows mind-body benefits in the following ways:
- Music improves your brain. Music — of any kind — fires neurons in the brain that in turn boost memory and mental powers. Got kids? Take them to concerts. They’ll do better in reading and math.
- Slow tunes lower blood pressure. To dial down high blood pressure, spend 30 minutes a day breathing along to the beat of slow, soothing numbers (think Norah Jones or Frank Sinatra, not Lady Gaga or Ice Cube).
- Music keeps your ears young. Older musicians don’t experience typical aging in the part of the brain (the auditory cortex) that often leads to hearing troubles. But you don’t have to be Bono to benefit. It’s never too late to start taking, oh, guitar or piano lessons and preventing age-related auditory changes. How reliable are your ears?
- Music relieves stress. Listening to music lowered heart rates by as much as 5 beats per minute in critically ill hospital patients hooked up to breathing machines — enough of a drop to significantly ease anxiety and help them heal.
- A good beat keeps you moving. Pick motivating music for your workout and you’re likely to exercise harder and longer, bolster heart health, and lose more body fat.