Music & Wellness: How Music Impacts Mental Health


Music and Wellness


Did you know that in 2013, researchers found that people who listened to upbeat music for just 12 minutes experienced an improvement in their mood and happiness? Music can have a profound impact on our mental health. Perhaps you’ve experienced that yourself when you listen to your favorite artist. Read along as we explore how music can enhance your mental wellbeing and be an effective tool for improving mental health.

1. The Science Behind Music and the Brain

Brain Activity: Music lights up different parts of our brain, making them work together. This includes parts that help us hear, move, make decisions, and remember things.

Brain Changes: Playing music can change the structure of our brain over time, making it stronger and better connected.

Hormones & Feelings:

  • Dopamine: When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, which makes us feel happy and rewarded.
  • Oxytocin: Singing or playing music with others releases oxytocin, which helps us feel connected and trust each other.
  • Cortisol: Calming music can lower cortisol levels, helping us feel less stressed.
  • Serotonin: Music can boost serotonin levels, which improves our mood and makes us feel good.

Music can make us happier, less stressed, and more connected with others by activating different parts of our brain and releasing feel-good chemicals.

2. Emotional and Psychological Benefits of Music

Mood Regulation: Music can significantly influence our emotions and mood. Listening to upbeat, happy music can make us feel more positive, while slower, more soothing music can help us relax and calm down. For example, think about when you play your favorite happy song and how it can lift your spirits when you’re feeling down. Or maybe a high-energy song can make you feel motivated while you’re working out.

Stress Reduction: Music, especially slow, calming tunes, can reduce stress by lowering the body’s cortisol levels, as found in a 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis in the Health Psychology Review​. It can slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax muscles, creating an overall calming effect. The next time you come home after a stressful day, try listening to some gentle classical music or soothing nature sounds to help you unwind.

Emotional Expression: Music allows people to express emotions that they might find difficult to put into words. It can evoke feelings of joy, sadness, excitement, or nostalgia, providing a safe outlet for emotional expression. If you’re a musician, writing or playing a song when you’re feeling strong emotions might help you process and understand those feelings better.

3. Practical Ways to Incorporate Music into Your Wellness Routine

Create a Morning Playlist: Start your day on a positive note by curating a playlist of your favorite upbeat and energizing songs. Listening to this playlist as you get ready in the morning can set a positive tone for the day.

Learn to Play an Instrument: Learning to play a musical instrument is not only a fun and rewarding hobby but also a fantastic way to improve mental health. Playing an instrument engages your brain, improves cognitive functions, and provides a creative outlet for emotional expression.

Join a Music Group: Participating in group music activities, such as singing in a choir or playing in a band, can enhance social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness. These activities provide a sense of community and shared purpose, which is beneficial for mental health and involves music.

By integrating these musical activities into your daily routine, you can harness the therapeutic benefits of music to improve your mental and emotional well-being.


Music is a powerful tool for enhancing mental health and well-being. From regulating mood and reducing stress to providing a medium for emotional expression, the benefits of music are well-supported by research. Whether you are listening to your favorite songs, attending live concerts, or learning to play an instrument, incorporating music into your daily routine can make a significant difference in your mental and emotional health.

At Hodis Learning & Music, we offer personalized lessons designed to help you explore the joys of music, improve your skills, and experience the therapeutic benefits that come with learning an instrument. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, our tailored approach ensures that you get the most out of your lessons.

If you’re ready to experience the positive impact of music on your mental health, consider signing up for music lessons. Call or email us today to get started.