There are few things better than getting into your car, rolling down the window and cranking your favourite songs. We’ve all experienced the power of music in its unique ability to touch the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds.
Whether it’s through film, or the songs which just instantly crack us open, some of our best moments in life are accompanied by a soundtrack. But have you ever thought about why? Across time and culture, the power of music been recognised not only as a source of entertainment but also as a profound tool for healing and connection.
Reconnecting with Life’s Rythms
Beautifully, as humans, our systems naturally entrain to the beat of music. From our first days in the womb, when our inner rhythm synchronised to our mother’s heartbeat, our brain and our metabolism were being programmed by the rhythm.
Unlike visual stimuli, music has an amazing ability to catalyse rhythmic, metrically-organised motor behaviour. That’s why it’s much easier to tap along in time to a beat, than it is to move in time to flashing lights. Ultimately our systems respond to rhythm. Studies have shown that music with a steady beat can serve as an auditory control mechanism for organising all kinds of thought and movement – from opening a door to remembering where you left your phone. Naturally, practicing, playing and developing your sense of rhythm can evoke a myriad of benefits.
Easing Stress and Anxiety
One of the most well-documented benefits of music is its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety. Listening to calming melodies can lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. Music acts as a form of therapy, allowing the listener to relax, unwind, and escape the demands of the modern world.
Music of course also has the remarkable ability to influence our emotions. Whether you’re feeling down and in need of a pick-me-up or simply seeking comfort during challenging times, music can provide the emotional support you crave. Upbeat tunes will boost your mood, while melancholic melodies help us process and express our feelings
Relieving Physical Pain
Research has shown that music can serve as an effective form of pain management. Amazingly, patients undergoing surgery or medical procedures often report reduced pain levels when exposed to music. The distraction and relaxation induced by music can lead to a decreased perception of pain. Even in physical therapy and rehabilitation, music plays a crucial role in motivating patients. Rhythmic music can help coordinate movements, and the emotional benefits of music provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation during recovery.
Fostering Connection, Empathy and Self-Expression
Music has the power to bridge cultural divides and connect people on a profound level. Anyone who’s been in a Happy Buddha Drum Circle will tell you – singing or playing music together fosters a sense of community and belonging, encouraging empathy and understanding among a group. Plus, for those who otherwise find it challenging to express themselves verbally, music offers a powerful outlet for emotions and self-expression.
Simply put, Music can act as a soothing lullaby for those struggling with insomnia or sleep disturbances. Several studies suggest that music enhances sleep because of its effects on the regulation of hormones. Stress elevates levels of cortisol, resulting in an increased alertness, and consequent poor sleep. Listening to music decreases levels of cortisol. Slow and calming tunes help induce relaxation, making it easier to drift into a peaceful slumber. But don’t take my word for it! Our Sound Healing Retreat proves this and more.
Whether it’s through our Sound Healing Retreat, the Karlakatai Healing Retreat, or even Inner Joy, here at Happy Buddha we firmly believe in harnessing the power of music. So there you have it! Next time you’re appreciating your music, you’ll be doing so with more awareness than ever. Let music become a companion on your wellbeing journey, for it does have the potential to heal the mind, body and soul.
P.S here’s one of our current favourite playlists from our sister Yoga Studio. Enjoy.
Nisha is a freelance writer and Vedic astrologer, based in the magical Byron Hinterlands. As well as running her candle business, her life and loves involve: yoga, gardening and all things esoteric. You’ll find her out in nature, or curled up at home with a good book. Happy Buddha is one of her most treasured places on earth (and indeed where she met her fiancé!).