Music connects us all. No matter the genre, time of release, or message, music soothes, transports, and transforms. Now, new research from AARP indicates music can be beneficial for your mind, heart and soul.
According to the research, adults who engage in music are more likely to self-report their overall health, brain health, and cognitive function as excellent or very good. Additionally, listening to music shows a small, positive effect on mental well-being, depression, and anxiety—including listening to music in the background, attending musical performances, and focused listening to recorded music.
Key findings suggest early childhood exposure to music is related to musical engagement in adulthood. A higher percentage of adults who reported more frequent music exposure in childhood also say their quality of life and ability to learn new things, in general, is excellent or very good. Didn't have much musical exposure as a child? Not to worry. The research also suggests current engagement in music makes up for a lack of early childhood exposure as reflected in higher-than-average mental well-being scores.
Your brain on music, science says, is a happier one. So throw some music on in the background while working, seek out local performances once it's safe to do so, learn to play an instrument, write down your thoughts, and see if they become a song. And most of all, enjoy.
This playlist is filled with some new—and not-so-new—tracks sure to get your brain feeling good.
"Great Day" Paul McCartney
"Scott Street" Phoebe Bridgers
"The Weight" Aretha Franklin
"Why Is It So Hard" Charles Bradley
"Exile" Taylor Swift (ft. Bon Iver)
"Sunday Morning" Amanaz
"Since I Fell for You" Vince Guaraldi Trio
"Watermelon Sugar" Harry Styles
"Moon River" Amy Winehouse
"Seventeen" Sharon Van Etten
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.