Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to communicate with you and connect you to the Universe in ways you can’t find elsewhere.
If you’re open to its healing powers, music often resonates on a level much deeper than cognitive comprehension; it reaches your soul. Whether you listen to classical, grunge, pop, singer/songwriter, alternative, rock, bluegrass, country, or folk, the music you’re listening to affects your mind, body, and spirit in substantial ways.
Learning to embrace the healing benefits of listening to music could help improve your overall well-being, as it can create a healing environment that can alter you both physiologically and psychologically.
Next time you turn up the volume in your car, plug in your earphones, find your seat at a concert, or connect your record player to Bluetooth speakers, open yourself up to these five healing benefits of listening to music:
Music Increases Self-Awareness
Self-awareness and discovery is an important step in your personal growth. Understanding your Self allows you to discover your Dharma and offer your unique gifts to the world. There are many paths you can take to cultivate this type of self-awareness, including one of the most simple of leisure activities, listening to music. This practice has been proven to help people think about who they are, who they would like to be, and how to design their own path.
Next time you’re in a space where you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and crave direction, turn on your favorite artist and see where your mind takes you. Let the music inform your thoughts and trust that what comes up is what you need to hear. Record what you discover in a journal, revisiting it as needed along your journey.
Music Alters Your Mood
You’ve probably experienced increased happiness, sadness, or feelings of awe when listening to certain songs. This isn’t a coincidence. Research has shown that different types of music can have a distinct effect on your mood, along with your tension levels and mental clarity.
Whether you’re feeling somber, reflective, angry, or joyful, you have the ability to either press further into those feelings or change emotional directions by choosing to listen to certain types of music. Discover which songs speak to who you are and uplift your spirit, and keep them on a playlist within reach for when you need them.
Music Reduces Your Stress Response
There is no scarcity of stress in your life, but if you let it rule the roost, you’re likely to face multiple complications down the road, including negatively impacting your mood, sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Luckily, listening to certain types of music can help reduce your stress response.
When you find yourself in a stressful situation, where you’re having difficulty handling what life has presented, find music that encourages and calms you. Even better, create a unique playlist that you find particularly calming and enjoyable, and keep it on your phone so you can have a listen whenever those stressful feelings first begin to creep in—to prevent heightened responses to life’s inevitable stressors.
Music Strengthens Empathy
Whether you are naturally an empath or not, honing empathy skills is vital to connecting with others in a deep, powerful, and meaningful way. Being able to view the world from someone else’s perspective not only encourages you to change the way you approach your daily life, but it can also help others to feel known.
Music has been used in many circles to improve a person’s empathy, compassion, and relationship-centered care. While music often encourages you to engage in retrospection, it first comes as an invitation to join someone else’s story through their composition, lyrics, and melody. It puts you in their shoes. Begin to notice how you view the world differently after listening to music on your commute to and from work or as you’re running around town completing errands.
Music Connects Spiritually
Music can play a central role in the spiritual life of a person or community. Throughout history, music has been used in spiritual ceremonies in the form of acapella singing, chants, drums, among others. Music has a transcendent property that can connect you to something greater than yourself and has been proven to positively affect spirituality and quality of life.
Whether you are listening to it, creating it, or playing it, honor the divine power of music and its ability to connect you to the Universe. Allow yourself to be free and feel the healing that comes from opening yourself up to a spiritual connection.
Listening to music is a life force that can be used to your benefit as you bring intention to the practice. Use it to connect to yourself, others, and the Universe in ways that will transform your life into a healing environment.