Benefits of Music on Health and Athletic Performance

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Music has been a mainstay of human art and culture since the dawn of recorded culture itself. Present in every one of the great civilizations of history, musical compositions and forms have been used to transmit details of legends, history, society, culture and much more.

Other than just being a significant marker of progress and civilization, there are more practical reasons for this presence of music throughout human history. The key to why humans gravitate towards the musical form lies in science and our own biology. Simply put, music has tremendous benefits and positive effects on the human body. It can even be used to boost a body’s potential and improve its performance like in athletics.

Not sure why? Read on to find out.

Effects of dopamine

Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain from pleasurable activities and actions. It significantly improves one mood towards positivity and leaves a ‘happy high.’ It is also triggered by other activities like working out or sporting activities.

Dopamine is good for mental health and those effects reverberate down to the entire body in untold ways. Listening to music one likes, therefore, releases this chemical and can be used as a stimulant during moments when one feels low on energy or positivity.

Benefits of music

Now that we have shown you the mechanism through which music works to produce many a health benefit for the body, let us show you in detail what those beneficial effects actually are.

1. Improved mood

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most prominent effects of music. Your mood improves and you become more positive. You start feeling better and even the surliest dispositions can find their frowns turning upside down.

2. Stress reduction

Music can greatly help you in reducing stress if you have stress related issues. Care should be taken, however, that not all kinds of music have this effect which is why you need to choose your music carefully especially when you’re stressed.

Some music like rock can actually elevate your heartbeat and blood pressure and, in turn, increase your stress levels. You should listen to calming and relaxing music which has lower tempos and beats. Give it a try just once and you will feel your stress getting sapped away as you are transported to a state of utter serenity.

3. Athletic improvement

One of the major benefits of music is the substantial improvement it provides for athletic performance and while exercising. There are numerous reasons for this including the dopamine release and reduced stress levels, however, there are also a multitude of other reasons why music can help improve your performance.

Music can completely empty your mind and leave you laser focused during your workout or before a sporting event. You can use it to enter the right state of mind where you empty all clout and only focus on one single thing. This, in a sense, removes the internal constraints the mind puts on the body and allows you to perform much better. You are at once absolutely focused and yet completely free.

It can then be helpful for post workout stress release and recovery too. There is no better way to unwind and get your breathing in control than breathing exercises coupled with calming music. Only a few minutes and you will be right as rain again.

1. Memory retention

Listening to music is proven to increase one’s ability to memorize and retain what they have learned. Additionally, music is also associated with and generally better-performing memory. This is because most often when listening to music, you begin to recite and remember the lines or the beats. The constant repetition day in and day out of rhythms, tempos, and beats helps in pattern formation.

Patterns can help the brain to remember things for longer on a subconscious level and this slowly begins to extend to information other than just musical lyrics. This also works because calming music can empty your mind of everything but the task at hand and thus allow you to absorb and retain it better.

2. Pain management

The interesting thing about injuries is that the more you pay attention to them, the more they hurt.

How many times has it happened that you noticed later on that you got a scratch or a cut. It didn’t even bother you up until then but as soon as you realize it, the pain flares up. Music can help to manage pain because it diverts the attention of your conscious mind from the injury and this creates a sort of placebo effect.

Our brain can often exacerbate the pain we feel needlessly, and fooling it proves to be the best cure at times. As your attention is diverted, the chemicals being released also begin to play their part in faster wound recovery and repair.

This is also more broadly about mental pain management. A patient who recently had an accident and is lying on the bed will have more time to dwell and stress about the injury and this will heighten their mental state causing them more anguish. A mind in anguish leads to stress, tension, and blood pressure and this trio begins to affect your body negatively. Listening to music can nip this problem right in the bud and alleviate your pain considerably.

A final note


You can see now and gain a better appreciation for the lyrics and beats most of us listen to on an everyday basis. Adults may be on your case for always having earphones on but now you can defend yourself with logical arguments and reasons.

Music has been a mainstay of humanity and will continue to be a mainstay. There is no point in demonizing it when it is one of the proven mechanisms to improve our health and performance.

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