Music is a Natural Antidepressant

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music-listeningMusic has transformative powers. For centuries people have used music to express themselves and lift their spirits. The great news is that music still holds its miraculous mystique.

Research has shown that music releases neurotransmitters, chemicals that are released from nerve endings which actually “transmit” signals, via amino acids, from one nerve ending to another. So imagine dominoes – once one is kicked-off, the others follow. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that ignites the reward and pleasure centers of our brain, and the right song can give your body a dose. And as such, music is a natural antidepressant.

You know how you need a good cry every once in a while? Sad music can help release sad emotions, getting them up and out. Many of us can all relate to a great “break-up” song that allowed us to mourn the loss of a love through those free-flowing tears. And there’s nothing wrong with that – just be sure not to use the sad music to stay in that place for too long. (I’m sitting here laughing as I remember playing, rewinding, playing, rewinding that song by John Waite, “Missing You” – I just SO dated myself!)

Everyone has their favorite types of music; there’s no right or wrong.

The important thing is to listen to music that helps and enhances the mood you’re trying to create. Need to show up powerfully for a meeting or event? There’s a song for that. Need to clear your head before you see your kids after school? There’s a song for that. Need to celebrate a job well done, motivate yourself to get that workout in, or create the right mood for romance? There’s a song for those situations too. It’s all about using music as a tool to help you improve an experience, create or boost an emotion you’d like to feel.

Here’s something else to consider. Going to sleep with music or waking up to a sweet harmony can set the stage for a pleasant day. (Just compare that to an annoying alarm clock.) Maybe turning off the TV and having some soft music playing in the background instead can give you that moment you need to breathe and relax.

Think of how brilliant the body is. Within us are healing chemical cocktails that create every emotion available. It’s up to us to suppress or enhance these emotions and music can help us do that.

How do you use music to change your mood? What was YOUR favorite break-up song from the past? We’d love to know, comment and share!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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January 2023