Lifestyle | Why we should listen to more music

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Music is not just noise that can drown out your surrounding environment. There are many reasons why people use music as a motivating factor to fulfil a variety of tasks.

Do you need to concentrate or want to run 15 miles? Just log into any music streaming site and you will get a full listing of music to suit your mood, or task.

But, why bother? Listening to music is known to improve our mental well being and boosts our physical health. These are just two of the many benefits that experts are finding out about music.

When you listen to music, your brain releases dopamine, a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. Therefore, listening to music you prefer can make you feel emotions like joy, happiness, and excitement.

Most runners find it hard to endure long miles without the aid of music pumping in their ear. Indeed, recent research discovered that runners who listened to fast or slow motivational music completed the first 800 meters of their run faster than runners who listened to calm music or ran without music.

Listening to music you enjoy can also help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which counteracts the effects of stress. As such, after a long and stressful day, turn up the music as you leave your workplace or, when faced with tough situations.

For those that suffer from insomnia or other sleep conditions, experts advise listening to relaxing classical music before they go to bed. Bach or Mozart, for example, are big favourites.

As the economy improves, we are seeing a noticeable increase in cars on the road. This, in turn, can lead to higher incidents of road rage and fatigue thanks to longer time on the roads. A Netherlands-based study found that listening to music can positively impact your mood while driving, which can lead to safer behaviour than not listening to music.