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Positive Effects of Music

How Music Improves Health

By Tara Maroney
On April 3, 2006

"What came first, the music or the misery?" Rob Gordon (John Cusack) asks in the movie "High Fidelity." "People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"

"High Fidelity," one of the best music movies to come out in the last few years presents an interesting but perhaps a bit extreme example of the power of music. Most people don't think that what they listen to affects their mood, but some professionals think otherwise. Music therapy has been exploring the idea of music as a cure for ailments for a long time. There is scientific evidence that what you listen to can help set your mood or in many cases correct it. So in true "High Fidelity" fashion here are the top five benefits to listening to music.

Music makes you smarter

"Neurological evidence proves that listening to Mozart can raise your IQ," states. Listening to music can help people filter out distractions as well encouraging them to focus and study. Classical music is usually the top choice by experts for raising IQ but the argument could be made for any music as long as it is a benefit to your study habits instead of something that hinders you. Almost everyone has heard that if you are exposed to classical music in the womb you're more likely to be a genius. There are music classes offered for newborn children to continue their learning through music. Hopefully all is not lost for those in college who wish to boost their IQ by listening as well.

Music enhances creativity

Writers block is often said to be cured by a bout of music listening. Somehow listening to others creativity causes us to enhance our own. Music is processed on both sides of the brain, says, meaning that listening may just spark some creative energy that is hiding there.

Music reduces pain

Marion Good, an assistant professor of nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing did a study in Cleveland that found listening to music as well as relaxing can help limit post-operative pain in patients. "This study showed that during both walking and rest, patients who used relaxation, music, or the combination along with their medication had less pain than those who used medication alone did," according to If it can work in patients after major surgery it can work in a less serious setting as well. There are numerous other websites dedicated to stopping pain by listening to music, so a simple search can turn up lots of cures and suggestions.

Music reduces stress

Leading up to the stress of finals it is important to remember that one easy way to escape is by listening to music. It may not stop you from worrying about your test the next day but it can help relieve some of that stress, at least temporarily. Many people also meditate while listening to music to increase its benefit.

Music is fun

On top of all the emotional and physical benefits you can gain by listening to music there is also the option of listening to it for enjoyment. After all, it doesn't require much time and you can listen while doing other things. So pop in a tape, and enjoy it.

So while music probably doesn't cause us to have horrible relationships with others it could be a factor in our emotional wellbeing. So the heartbreak, rejection and pain you suffer is probably not because of your music, but it may be why you don't recover as quickly afterward.

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