Recent studies have shown that music not only heals the soul, but also the mind and body. It’s showing to be a very effective natural healer due to the release of dopamine that has extremely positive effects on the body. Music shows promise in the treatment of mental and somatic illnesses, and recent studies also suggest that it may be useful for patients with traumatic brain injury. A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience indicates that listening to one`s favorite music leads to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure system of the brain. Dopamine, which is also responsible for both motivation and addiction, is a feel-good chemical. It can affect how you feel and think, and has been attributed to feelings of happiness.
So why is the release of dopamine of such vital importance to our health? Dopamine affects our movement, memory, pleasurable reward, behavior, cognition, attention, inhibition of prolactin production, sleep, mood, learning, and a number of other things. Dopamine is the substance your body releases in order to motivate you to perform certain activities. Biologically, its role is basically to keep you striving and choosing activities that increase your possibilities for survival. So if music is connected with dopamine being released, we can correlate the two. In other words music affects all the things dopamine does and music keeps us motivated and healthy.
Music can also address the needs of patients with traumatic brain injuries. Studies have shown that music therapy was found to be just as effective as rehabilitative therapy for patients who were initially considered non-responsive. Furthermore, music is not only good for our health in the sense of dopamine being released but also in the sense that music can automatically capture attention and may distract attention from negative experiences such as pain, anxiety, worry and sadness. Music has always been there for people. Music is there for us when we are happy, sad, angry, confused, excited, scared, euphoric, etc. Hence, music as a natural healer is credited to induce pleasurable feelings and is considered a promising treatment for mental and somatic illnesses. Music never fails to comfort us and make us feel remarkably better.
Written By: Meghan Hargaden