The Healing Power of Music
“Music has real health benefits. It boosts dopamine, lowers cortisol and it makes us feel great. Your brain is better on music.” – Alex Doman
From an early age I was attracted to music. It had a powerful pull on me. After my first public performance I put away other interests and threw myself totally into the pursuit of being a musician. It made me happy.
Science indicates there is a reason why music makes us feel so good. Studies show that listening to music may have the following positive effects on health and well-being.
Enjoying music in groups enhances a sense of connection and belonging, which is vital to the human experience. Furthermore, it can improve mood, lessen anxiety, reduce stress, ease pain, provide comfort and improve memory.
In my work as a professional musician I’ve experienced this firsthand. I recently created a “golden hits” musical concert that I present at senior living centers. I love presenting these shows.
During these performances I routinely get to see a room transformed by a song. In the eyes of my audience, I see their faces light up as they remember the lyrics and sing along. I see smiles and sometimes happy tears. I would compare it to a wave of joy moving throughout the room. A great song is like an old friend they are happy to experience.
During one of these performances, I experienced the healing power of music on a more personal level. Earlier that day I had hurt my knee at the gym and was walking with a slight limp. My knee was in pain, and I was worried about my upcoming performance. I didn’t want to be limping around the stage in front of an audience.
I got to the venue, set up my gear, and plotted my strategy for the performance…. Don’t move. I started singing with limited movement. To my surprise, once the show started my pain was gone! I was so immersed in performing and connecting with my audience that my pain and limp were gone. I was having so much fun.
I mentioned this to an assistant who worked at the senior care facility and this was her response. She said, “This is the reason we have live music. Many of our residents are in pain, -physical and/or emotional. Music transports them to a better place.”
This year I will set the intention to listen to more music that brings me to this better place. Will you join me? Happy listening!