I recently asked the following question in my Facebook group for small business owners and solopreneurs: “Does music affect your mental health, whether this is in a positive or negative way”?
As various neuroscientists have demonstrated, music has the ability to light up our whole brain. it doesn’t just engage one part of our brain like many other activities do; it involves most of it, as well as the rest of our bodies. It is therefore not surprising that the responses I received reflect a wide variety of experiences, showcasing the power of music to affect both our minds and bodies. Below some examples:
The music I love is like meditation and if I get goosebumps I know it’s not just mental, it’s physical too.
It’s a total escape. I find I want to get lost in music to cope with things in life.
I think it’s a vibrational thing, at least it’s certainly that way for me. Lots of songs hold different memories, and once the feelings surrounding those memories events have been dealt with, those songs no longer have the emotional impact they once had…
For me music is my life, so I’m very unproductive if I don’t listen to music for a long time.
I love music and I have different playlists for different moods. I am often seen dancing and singing around the kitchen during my micro breaks.
…surely music affects my mental health, it has to touch my heart and soul and when it does, I totally get lost in the music and even think the world around me doesn’t exist.
Music adapts to my moods, my personal thoughts, it adds “magic” to my days, soothes the soul, also even if I don’t understand the language there’s a certain understanding of feelings between the music, the mystery of the language and I.
But the show was stolen by one of our members, who commented on the benefits of music she experiences despite her profound hearing impairment. It was such a powerful account that I’m relating her comment here verbatim:
I’m profoundly deaf and have been from birth, yet music is my love & lifeline. So given that I cannot hear most of the notes..& forget hearing the lyrics…I rely on those vibrations on a whole new level.
I love it when I can stand next to, or better still, in front of a huge loudspeaker and close my eyes to focus on letting the vibrations sweep over me and through me. It’s incredible…and I just get lost in it. And if the music has a good beat…once I feel it…I can’t stop my feet…and just go with it.
Sometimes a singer may be singing way out of my hearing range, yet I know they are good, simply by the way the hairs on my arms and neck react and with a deep emotional, tears-in-my-eyes response. I use music to focus and work with, to uplift my mood, to release emotions that I’m struggling to let go of, to simply dance to..just because. It has so many benefits but do do we actually hear with our ears…?
According to my hearing specialist, we hear with our brains and it’s interpretation from the whole of our body, not just the ears. The ears are just a single transmitter of some information, but not the whole book. Think of how much harder it is to “hear” since we are prevented from seeing faces by covid masks…so many struggle. And they are not deaf in the least.
As a thought…music is a person’s expression of emotion, of vibrations they are feeling at that moment in time. Maybe there’s something in the picking up of that emotion on a subliminal level in each of us. I still get really emotional at a some songs and I have no idea as to the content of the lyrics…so maybe I’m picking up on the intention of the emotion of the writer. Who knows?
But whatever it is, it works beautifully for me.
Wow! My mind was blown.
So, if this week had a soundtrack, what would it be and why? Leave a reply below to let me know!
PS if you are interested to find out more about the effects of music in general -and piano in particular- on our mental health, you are going to love this! My friend Mark Deeks curates a 24 hour event starting today Monday 29th March 8am in the app Clubhouse about this very topic. There are a whole range of interesting speakers throughout the day from various musical backgrounds and levels of expertise. Click here to find out more about joining this free charity event.