I’ve already talked about how exercise helps your memory. But, that’s not the only road to keeping a healthy brain. Listening to music and the brain have an intimate connection.
Of course, virtually everyone enjoys music. It doesn’t matter if you listen to rock, hip-hop, or jazz. You probably listen to music while you work or do chores.
What if I told you it could be healthy? Let’s find out what music can do for your memory and learning.
What’s the relationship between music and the brain?
Physically, stereo systems (like headphones) send vibrations to our brains. It generates electrical signals that our brains translate. That’s how we hear.
With music, we’re talking about more complex functions. We must process harmony, rhythms, and more. That’s a lot of maths and architecture (sound-wise) for our brains.
That’s the key consideration for keeping our brains healthy.
How does music work for keeping a healthy brain?
Many of music’s benefits come from association:
- Listening to new music is good for creativity. It forces us to understand new sounds and perspectives.
- Familiar music can help you recall memories you associate with that genre or song. The best example is recalling times and conversations with friends.
- Finally, your body could respond to music in different ways. Some genres might help you focus, relax, or even vent.
How does the music and brain relationship work for your memory?
Music (both listening to and playing it) reactivates our brain’s memory area. But, music works for more than remembering. It can make it easier to create new memories.
Moreover, music also seems to benefit recovery from brain injuries—particularly in the left region. Singing is unrelated to that side. So, it can help people speak lyrics while eliminating the melody.
But, the link between music and the brain isn’t simple
But, music and the brain is a complex relationship. Keeping a healthy brain isn’t merely listening to more music.
As I mentioned, the effects are different for everyone. But, it’s not as simple as changing the music genre. Some people simply don’t benefit regardless of the kind of music.
It can backfire when keeping a healthy brain
For many, music doesn’t help them focus or recall memories. In fact, it can do the opposite. Some of the ill-effects include the following:
- Some songs can distract you from your current tasks if they require special focus.
- Music can also contain lots of information. Particularly with lyrics, it can reduce your working memory. That includes list items and event sequences.
- Reading comprehension can also suffer if you hear fast and loud music. The same goes when it contains lyrics.
Not all music works the same
Naturally, different types of music have different results. That pairs with everything we’ve said to make music and the brain more complex. But, there are some basic guidelines we can follow.
If you want music for keeping a healthy brain, try the following:
- Avoid complex lyrics or lyrics in general.
- Pick slow music.
- Keep your tunes simple. Avoid experimental or progressive songs with complex rhythms.
- Don’t turn the volume up too much.
- Try to avoid your favorite songs if you need to focus.
Everyday benefits from the link between music and the brain
I’ve explained extensively how music and the brain work together. Likewise, I’ve touched on some of its memory benefits. But, how can you benefit from music?
Let’s dive into more practical benefits for keeping a brain healthy.
- It can reduce stress from studying, working, and other situations.
- Music can reduce anxiety from upcoming tests and deadlines.}
- You can perform better in high-pressure situations.
- Music can also distract you from physical pain, easing the feeling.
- Classical music is particularly useful for boosting your concentration.
- Moreover, it’s also great for boosting your cognition.
- You can recall memories and emotions you associate with certain songs.
The holistic takeaway
Overall, we still don’t entirely understand music and the brain. But, it’s something we can try with zero side effects. So, try listening to some music to keep a healthy brain. Try some playlist while you work or do your chores.
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