Listening to music during stressful times can boost mood and reduce stress

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In a study from the University of Vienna, scientists found evidence showing that listening to music when stressed can boost a person’s mood and help them relax.

They reported an experiment they conducted with volunteers under stress caused by living under the rules of the lockdown during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Past research has found that listening to music can temporarily reduce feelings of stress.

In this study, the researchers sought to find more concrete evidence of the mental health benefits of listening to music.

They designed and executed a study that involved creating a smartphone app for use by volunteers. The app allowed 711 adult participants to record their mood and music listening habits five times a day for one week.

During each query, each volunteer chose a current level of stress from a menu; likewise, they rated their momentary mood from a menu. All the volunteers lived either in Austria or Italy.

The researchers carried out the study during the early days of the pandemic when people were told to stay in their homes and businesses closed, creating a global environment of enormous fear, tension and stress.

The team found what they describe as a correlation between lowered stress levels and instances of listening to music—most particularly when listening to uplifting or happy music.

The researchers say that prior research has shown that happy music can activate parts of the brain associated with mood regulation.

They also found that the impact of listening to music over a period of time can impact a person’s memories.

Those volunteers who listened to more happy music during the lockdown reported feeling less anxious after it was all over than other volunteers.

They conclude that clinicians working with stressed clients might find it useful to suggest they put on some happy music.

If you care about mental health, please read studies that vegetarian diet may increase your depression risk, and Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

For more information about mental health, please see recent studies that PTSD, anxiety, and depression may not be mental diseases, and results showing one dose of this drug may lower anxiety and depression for 5 years.

The study was conducted by Anja C. Feneberg et al and published in the JAMA Network Open.

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