If you are working on improving your mental health and tend to use exercise to impact it in a positive way, you might be excited to know that music has a very similar effect!
Of course, working out is definitely good for you in many ways but next time you are not able to hit the gym, for whatever reason, just play some tunes instead and you might get rid of the same amount of anxiety and stress!
That’s right! According to some new research, listening as well as playing music or singing, has the same amazing impact exercise or weight loss have on your wellbeing.
The research is based on a meta-analysis that covered a total of 26 previous studies that featured 779 people.
The researchers mention that “Increasing evidence supports the ability of music to broadly promote wellbeing and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, the magnitude of music’s positive association with HRQOL is still quite unclear, particularly relative to other established interventions, limiting inclusion of music interventions in health policy and care.”
The results of all the studies featured in the analysis were compared against other studies on the benefits of “non pharmaceutical and medical interventions (such as exercise or weight loss)” on one’s health as well as against research about treatments for health problems that did not include music as a form of therapy.
The research’s authors stated that the mental health boost caused by music is “within that range, albeit on the lower end” of the same type of impact on people who exercise or lose weight.
The researchers go on to mention that “This meta analysis of 26 studies of music interventions provided clear and quantitative moderate quality evidence that music interventions are associated with clinically significant changes in mental HRQOL. Additionally, a subset of eight studies demonstrated that adding music interventions to usual treatment was associated with clinically significant changes to mental HRQOL in a range of conditions.”
At the same time, it is important to note that there were significant variations between people in all those studies when it comes to just how well music worked on improving their wellbeing.
The result was generally a positive one but it goes to show that music is, unfortunately, not going to work for everyone who wants to improve their mental health.
Still, the experts now hope their study will encourage health professionals to prescribe music therapy more often to their patients.