Music Is Good for You

Sophomore Avi Arora listens to Taylor Swift as she does her homework. Photo: Eden Kerker

With exams coming up, don’t forget that music can be just the ticket to help with reducing stress and helping with focus. Below are some of the proven benefits of music.

  1. It reduces stress. A study has shown that music, especially with a slow tempo, can calm people during stressful events. Songs without lyrics or strong, loud instruments are particularly beneficial. Before or while studying for a major test, turn up the volume and drown out any unnecessary worrying with familiar music and lyrics.
  2. It strengthens learning and memory. Depending on how much you like music, researchers discovered that music can help you learn and recall information better. Just like acronyms and rhymes, listening to a song while studying can help students connect certain facts and information to certain beats and melodies.
  3. It lifts your mood. Research has proven that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Whether it’s rap, indie, pop or country, if you like the music, you will feel connected and happier.
  4. It enhances exercise performance. If you are about to do an intense workout or go on a run, queue your upbeat playlist. Upbeat tempos will get you in the rhythm and help you work with the beat.
  5. It increases work productivity. Listening to songs you are familiar with can calm your mind and help you focus. When doing homework or a project outside of school, your brain is looking for something pleasurable to distract you. Instead of getting sidetracked by your phone, music will keep you focused on the job. Music will put you in the zone, keeping your mind occupied and ready for work.
  6. It improves sleep. Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. A study showed that students who listened to relaxing music for a significant amount of time before getting in bed slept better than after reading or listening to an audiobook. When thinking about your huge history test you have tomorrow, plug in your phone and play some soft acoustic music to help your mind drift to sleep.