Everybody loves music. There’s nothing quite like singing your heart out in the shower, letting loose on the dance floor or settling down with your headphones for a long journey. You’ve only got to see the number of people on the tube plugged in to their iPhones to know that nearly everyone is listening to their favourite songs.
People love music for a good reason, whether they know it or not both playing and listening to music can have profoundly positive effects on your life. Here are 8 to think about next time you reach for your headphones.
 STRESS RELIEF
We’ve all used music to relax when we’re feeling run down, but few people know just how effective it can be at calming us down. Current research suggests that music at around 60 beats per minute, which includes greats from Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ to The Doors’ ‘Roadhouse Blues’, causes the brain to synchronise with the rhythm causing ‘alpha brainwaves’, which for those of us without a degree in Neurology is the wave present when we’re super relaxed.
Some studies have even shown that listening to music can relax us as much as medication! The next time Katie Hopkins says something that angers you, turn your speakers up.
 MUSIC BOOSTS CONFIDENCE
Countless people throughout history have turned to music to help improve their confidence. Jimi Hendrix, perhaps the most recognisable rock star on the planet was painfully shy as a child, and even quiet backstage, but when he had his Strat’ in hand he became the Guitar-God we recognise today.
Learning an instrument teaches you to overcome mental obstacles and develop a skill, a key component in constructing inner confidence. Not to mention giving you the chance to get up on stage and show off your skill!
 MUSIC HELPS YOUR HEART
We all know that breakup music has a special place in our lives for those few weeks of struggle after a breakup, but there is strong evidence to suggest that music actually helps your heart and cardiovascular system stay healthy. The endorphins released when listening to music you really love, causes increased blood-flow and in turn this keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.
If you want to be as fit as Ronda Rousey, she recommends 90’s Hip Hop to get your heart pumping like a champ.
 SELF EXPRESSION
Playing an instrument, writing your own songs and performing them are the ultimate forms of self expression, a vital component of healthy living and communicating with people.
The music you listen to is perhaps more telling than you might think. You can tell an awful lot about a person from their taste in music, from their political tendencies to their cultural heritage. Next time someone tells you not to be a music snob, remind them that studies have shown you’re far more likely to get along with someone with a similar taste in music. Hence the recognition of like-minded spirits when someone’s playing one of your top picks! Another way to recognise someone from your tribe.
 MUSIC IS SOCIAL
Sharing an emotional experience with someone is one of the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have, and music is all about doing just that. Getting together with people at a live music event or dancing with them in a club is a great way to bond with people. Yep, you’re all one tribe in that moment of synchronicity!
There’s also strong evidence to suggest that singing with a group of people in harmony, such as a choir, can release huge amounts of dopamine, the Kim Kardashian of molecules! Increases in dopamine release occur in response to sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yeah baby!
 MAKES YOU SMARTER
There’s also growing evidence to suggest that playing a musical instrument can make you smarter. Playing an instrument, whether you’re a child or an adult, can improve your IQ by 7 points, and is shown to structurally change how your brain works.
This means that music can help improve your motorneuron skills, your memory and your emotional skills, not to mention your rocking out skills!
 FIGHTS DEPRESSION AND ALZHEIMER’S
This beautiful video shows just how effective music can be at helping patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease. By playing songs from a patient’s youth, neural pathways are stimulated and it sparks vivid memories from their past. Watch and enjoy.
 BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
This sounds impossible, but research has shown that listening to 50 minutes of music a day can increase the number of antibodies in your blood stream.
Not only can it improve your immune system but music that is personally enjoyed has been shown to help reduce pain in patients before and after surgery. So next time you’re feeling ill, put down the lemsip and turn up your speakers.
#jimihendrix, #KatieHopkins #rondarousey #90shiphop #kimkardashian #alzeimers #thepowerofmusic
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