It isn’t impossible to imagine that classical music can be good for the soul, but good for your health? Studies have shown that listening to classical music has numerous positive health implications, and we’ve compiled a list of them for you to share and to help you defend the amount of time and money you spend going to orchestral concerts and operas.
It can decrease blood pressure
A study by Oxford University found that participants who listened to classical music had significantly lower blood pressure levels than participants who did not hear any music. Apparently listening to music by Mozart and Strauss for 25 minutes lowered blood pressure substantially in the participants who took part in a study. Researchers suggested that, in order for music to reduce blood pressure, it should have no lyrics, have few changes in volume or rhythm, have harmonies that ‘are not rousing’, and that certain parts of the music should be repeated in intervals.
It’s a natural pain reliever
When listening to music we can get carried away in the melody, but a study in 2006 found that groups of people that suffered chronic pain felt less pain post listening to classical music than those who didn’t. Researchers suggest that music empowers patients recovering from surgery and even encourage nurses to use it as a rehabilitation tool; music has been known to increase the brain’s rewards centre that helps to ease pain.
It reduces stress levels
It is a difficult task to keep stress levels low in this day and age and while some turn to yoga others turn to music and have been able to reduce their stress levels just by putting on some Tchaikovsky. Scientists say that classical music may help reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body and in one study, pregnant women reported that listening to classical music every week relieved their stress and anxiety. Not only was this found beneficial to expectant mothers but also to hospital patients who noticed a reduction in anxiety pre and post-surgery.
It aids sleep
Forget your whale sounds instead remember to wind down before heading to bed by listening to classical music. If you listen to your favourite piece around 45 minutes before you hit the hay, it can help improve sleep quality. Several studies have noted that the tempo of the music matters and that the ideal rhythm to prepare for some good quality sleep is around 60 beats per minute. So we’d perhaps avoid Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee if we were you and instead maybe opt for Bach’s Prelude No1.