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If you are someone who enjoys music you will take very little convincing that there are health benefits to both listening to and playing music.

I have always loved music.

One of my earliest memories is of dancing round the front room at home, singing to Super Trouper. One of my most treasured possessions when I was still in a pushchair was my Abba magazine.

My love of music grew as I did. I learned to play recorder and flute at school and I sang, all the time – ask my family!

I met my husband through music, he is a musician, and both our children are very musical.

Music is very important in our lives.

I think most of us would agree that music can dramatically affect your mood. Whether it is hearing your favourite song on the radio, hearing a song that reminds you of someone you miss, or the DJ putting on your favourite disco track at a party. The power of a good tune can take a grumpy day and make it bright or move you to tears thinking of a lost love. You can be instantly transported to a memory and immediately get goosebumps listening to a new track.

Over the years there has been so much research about the impact of music on the brain. Links between language and mathematical problem solving and musical ability have long been documented. It has also long been understood that learning a musical instrument strengthen parts of the brain, which are then permanently changed, whether you continue to play or not.

Dan, my little music lover, playing his ukulele
Listening to music releases dopamine, the feel good chemical, the same chemical which is released when we eat chocolate or we laugh.  It makes us happy.

Studies have shown that people required less pain medication if they were listening to music and people who were able to choose what they listened to required the least pain relief.

Over recent years it has become increasingly popular for women to create a labour playlist. These vary dramatically but if they have chosen the tracks themselves, according to research they will have the greatest impact.

It has also often been documented that people with Alzheimers (most famously The Songaminute Man) can still remember all the words to songs they sang and become increasingly animated when listening to music.

People who have debilitating stutters can rap or sing without a problem and can often talk more easily when listening to music.

Music stimulates our emotions.

It not only triggers memories, but can help us remember information.

It can focus our attention (although we all have to turn it down as we get nearer to a new destination when driving!).

It can help create new neurological pathways and heal the brain when there has been damage.

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” 

Bob Marley


Whether you are feeling tired or sad and need a pick me up, or you are feeling energised and need to relax, music may just be the answer.

The song that made you smile yesterday though, might not be what you want to listen to at all today, and that’s fine. Find something else to listen to.

As a family we recently subscribed to an online music provider and it has widened our choices infinitely. We are all enjoying being able to listen to new albums without having to commit to buying as well as revisiting old favourites and long lost treasures. At the same time we are also playing our old vinyl more than ever, and even adding to our vinyl collection. However, you choose to listen to music; MP3, mini disc, CD, tape, Vinyl, 8 track… enjoy it! That’s the most important thing.



If you have enjoyed reading this article why not take a look at some of my other recent blogs: 

5 Ways being organised reduces your stress and anxiety

Starting your day with 5 mindful minutes


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