Many people enjoy listening to music, whether they are at a concert or studying for an important exam. Since the lockdown, the need for a concert or theater show has increased significantly. Can music also help to make the lockdown feel less heavy?

Listening to music regulates emotions

Music Helps Against Stress 1According to psychiatrist Esther van Fenema, music offers a good alternative to the heavy pressure of the lockdown. You can make a world trip along with different composers and artists. You feel, according to her, heard faster through music. Yet music as therapy is not an option. However, it can be therapeutic, because music influences your emotions and can improve your mood.

Associate professor Rebecca Schaefer agrees. In her opinion, music is an ideal way to experience emotions safely and responsibly. You know exactly which music you can listen to cheer yourself up, to give you more motivation, or to cry out of sadness. In addition, music also helps to support the movement. It’s hard to sit still when you hear a beautiful melody.
Music ensures that several brain areas are stimulated. This helps to promote rehabilitation. However, it is not yet known what determines whether music is effective for someone, unfortunately, it does not work for everyone. Music also influences how we behave. Classical music has a dignified image, which makes you more likely to behave that way. That’s why it’s played a lot on public stations: to keep people tidy.

Personal associations play a role in listening to music

Music Helps Against Stress 2One of the most important parts of listening to music is the personal associations you have with this music. That works the same for us as smell, like that of freshly baked bread often evokes positive reactions, but the perfume of a nasty ex-partner has negative reactions.

This is because your brain is constantly busy predicting the upcoming situation. That is evolutionarily determined. We no longer have to run away from scary animals, but our brains still work like that. Positive music (or smells) provides a positive prediction, making us feel better. A negative reaction predicts that something is not quite right, causing us to want to remove ourselves from the situation. A perfect system to keep us safe, then.

Variations and Similarities

However, music is not the same everywhere. Much music is culturally determined. In India, music has different rhythms and uses different instruments than in western Europe. However, the effect of music is the same everywhere, according to research by Israeli scientists. They researched the effects of music on humans during the corona pandemic.
According to Schaefer, this is because there are now far fewer stimuli around us. There are no more concerts, fewer people are outside and you can go out less quickly. As human beings, however, we are looking for new stimuli and experiences. Music can satisfy this hunger when you try a new artist or genre. In addition, it helps to ease our anxiety and stress surrounding this pandemic.
Music does not work the same for everyone, the taste differs per person. However, it can’t hurt to try something new.

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