How Classical and Instrumental Music Affect Mental Health
The appreciation of music is a universal human experience. Everyone enjoys music, even if they disagree on which type is best. Music can benefit your mental health, but you may be surprised to learn just how beneficial instrumental (particularly classical) music is for your well-being. It may even help you fall asleep at night.
Let’s discuss the benefits of classical and instrumental music:
1. Music can help you cope with isolation
Many people have struggled with loneliness throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns.
A study of more than 2,100 adults found that over half enjoy listening to classical and instrumental music at home, a big increase compared to before the pandemic. This music serves as a coping mechanism, helping individuals relax, reflect, and distract themselves from difficult current events.
2. Classical music reduces blood pressure
Blood pressure correlates with stress. If classical music can lower your blood pressure, that means it relaxes you and likely lowers your stress levels as well. A German study found that music by Mozart and Strauss lowered participants’ blood pressure more than pop music.
3. Music reduces anxiety and depression
In a study of people with a fear of heights, researchers found that instrumental music aided their recovery. Participants who listened to music after a virtual reality experience of heights had quicker reductions in anxiety. A review of music and depression studies also concluded that classical music reduces depression symptoms in patients.
4. Even sad music boosts mental health
Instrumental music can be bright and cheerful, but it can also be gloomy. Surprisingly, sad pieces of music are actually good for your mental well-being. They can reassure you that someone else has experienced similar emotions, like grief, loneliness, or even depression. The music creates a human connection and acknowledges the difficult emotions that we all inevitably experience.
5. Classical music improves sleep
A study of college students found that those who listened to classical music for 45 minutes before bed experienced significantly improved sleep quality.
The researchers compared this experimental group to a control group with no interventions, and to a group of students who listened to an audiobook. In addition to better sleep, the music group displayed fewer symptoms of depression.
Listening to music before bed
Listening to music in the evening is a great way to unwind, reduce stress, and prepare for good sleep. Not all music works, though, even in the classical category. Listen to pieces that are soothing, not jarring or exciting.
BetterSleep has a carefully curated collection of classical and instrumental music to make your choice easier. Go to the Music section in the app and select from soft piano pieces, orchestral music, Celtic music, spa music, and more. BetterSleep also includes musical pieces designed to aid meditation so that you can get the best of two sleep strategies in one.
Making classical music a part of your daily life is a great idea for anyone interested in bettering their mental health. It may not cure what’s bothering you, but listening to soothing instrumentals can help you feel happier, sleepier, and more connected to your own emotions and to others. That’s definitely music to our ears.
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