Music is a powerful tool for helping us manage our mental and physical states. It helps pump us up, relax us, get us centered, prepare us for a great presentation, get our creative juices flowing, and propels us through a grueling workout, to say the least.
In her article, This is Your Brain on Music, Elizabeth Landau explores three recently published studies that look at how the brain responds to music and its potent effects.
We loved how in one study, patients who were about to undergo surgery were randomly assigned to either listen to music or take anti-anxiety drugs. The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs. Also highlighted was evidence that music is associated with immunoglobin A, an antibody linked to immunity, as well as higher counts of cells that fight germs and bacteria.
Another interesting study for us shows that from the perspective of the brain, there may be more similarities among music listeners than we think.
“Despite our idiosyncrasies in listening, the brain experiences music in a very consistent fashion across subjects, the participants not only perceive the music the same way, but, despite whatever personal differences they brought to the table, there’s a level on which they share a common experience.”
The results also reflect the power of music to unite people, something we love to share with our clients.
“It’s not our natural tendency to thrust ourselves into a crowd of 20,000 people, but for a Muse concert or a Radiohead concert we’ll do it,” Levitin said. “There’s this unifying force that comes from the music, and we don’t get that from other things.”
So turn up the volume on your favorite music, for yourself, and for the people whom you want to follow you!