How Music Affects the Body
Many scientists have undertaken studies to show how music affects a person’s body,
whether via his emotions or through the effects on his brain. The most-widely researched
aspect deals with the way they believe classical music positively impacts a baby’s intellect.
This has led to the widespread popularity of albums that turn classical music into baby
versions, such as Baby Mozart, Baby Beethoven, and many other albums. But how does
music have any “real” effect on the adult human body?
1. Music influences a person’s mood. Obviously, a person who is down or heartbroken
will relate well with music with a melancholy theme. However, there is also the other
side of the coin, in which the choice of music is not the result of a mood but a driver
of mood. When a person is depressed, his brain activity is reduced, and the mind loses
the ability to plan tasks or execute them. Scientifically, this depressed mood is caused
by the deficiency of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Soothing music has actually
been shown to cause an increase in levels of serotonin, which explains how soothing
music can help fight against depression.
2. Music improves memory, learning and thinking. Not only do serotonin levels improve
with music, the quiet and soothing notes also help assist the person’s thinking and
analyzing skills. Music also aids the learning process by improving memory,
attributed largely to the silence between two musical notes triggering brain cells and
neurons. Strong beats are also found to cause one’s brain waves to resonate in sync
with the beat, which results in higher levels of alertness and concentration. All in all,
this results in a sharper memory, higher concentration, and improved learning.
3. Music actually aids physical healing. How is this possible? There is nothing magical
or mystical as some might present it to be when they say that music has “healing
powers.” What really happens is that music helps the person release endorphins.
These hormones, known in work-out circles as the happy hormone, catalyze the
healing process. Not only does music take one’s mind away from the pain, it actually
brings about the chemical processes needed by the brain to aid healing. This is the
reason why many patients who have undergone surgery are recommended to undergo
4. Music can help repair brain damage. In line with helping in the healing process, music
has been found to improve the condition of patients who have suffered from stroke, a
lesion, or other brain-damaging incidents. Studies have shown that patients who have
lost partial ability of seeing or speaking have found significant improvement when
exposed to music. Patients whose left brains have been damaged and lost the ability to
speak find that they can sing words without even being trained to do so; from there,
speaking comes with practice. Using music to trigger language, which is a left brain
function, makes use of the fact that it uses both sides of the brain: the left for
language, the right for music. When language is associated with the music, it trains
the brain o move the functions of language to the right side of the brain by associating
the music with the words. Also, listening to pleasurable music helps release
dopamine, a hormone that makes sure the parts of the brain function in an improved
5. Music also helps boost the immune system. The main reason why music is able to do
this is that it reduces cortisol levels, a chemical that causes a person to feel stressed.
This means that music helps alleviate stress. This alone improves your immune
system. But more than that, music is actually shown to raise immune markers in the
person’s system, which in turn creates more antibodies to fight against disease.