The Healing Power of Music: 5 Scientific Studies

We all intuitively sense the emotional and psychological effects of music. Sometimes it moves like a wave up your body and seems to touch a profound aspect of our nature. Now we have science to quantify and test the effects of music, and it’s power to heal and assist us on our human journey.

What Is Healing Music?

Before we go on to the studies themselves here’s how I would define healing music. i.e. Compositions that may have the effects described in the studies below.

  • Spacious open tones that leave room for the listener
  • Create a distinct atmosphere that invites the listener into its world
  • Minimalist in that there is no more instrumentation than required to get the effect
  • Skilful use of rhythm and melody to evoke self-awareness and contemplation

Listen 🎧

You can click here to listen to all my music.

The Healing Power of Music: 5 Scientific Studies

Here are 5 scientific studies that show music’s ability to improve human health and performance. Each of the five sections includes a direct link to the study’s results.

1. Major health benefits of music uncovered

    • Conducted by: McGill University
    • Conclusion: In a large scale review of 400 research papers on the neurochemistry of music it was shown that playing and listening to music has benefits for both mental and physical health. Music was found both to improve the subjects immune system and to reduce stress. Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery.
    • Link: Click here to read the study

“We’ve found compelling evidence that music can play a health care role. More importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.” ~Prof. Levitin

2. Listening to yoga music at bedtime is good for the heart

  • Conducted by: European Society of Cardiology
  • Conclusion: This study investigated the impact of different types of music on heart rate variability which is correlated with the risk of cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke. Pop music, no music and soothing meditation style music were all compared. Yoga music was the only one that registered a lowering of anxiety levels before sleep.
  • LinkClick here to read the study

“Indians have long believed in the power of various therapies other than medicines as a mode of treatment for ailments. Listening to soothing music before bedtime is a cheap and easy to implement therapy that cannot cause harm.”

3. Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance

  • Study Conducted by: Scand J Med Sci Sports
  • Conclusion: Cyclists performing below their maximum exercise not only worked harder with faster music but also chose to do so and enjoyed the music more when it was played at a quicker tempo.
  • LinkClick here to read the study

The right kinds of music made it easier for atheletes to push themselves harder and enjoy themselves more in the process!

4. Listening to music in the early stages after a stroke can improve patients’ recovery

  • Conducted by: Brain, Volume 131
  • Conclusion: Regular self-directed music listening during the early post-stroke stage can enhance recovery and prevent negative moods.
  • LinkClick here to read the study

In the 2-month period after a stroke, patients who listened to their favourite music 1–2 hours a day showed greater improvement in attention and memory than patients who listened to audio books or received no listening material.

5. Music improves sleep quality in students

  • Conducted by: J Adv Nurs
  • Conclusion: Young people with poor sleep patterns reported a significant improvement in sleep quality and a reduction in depression when listening to relaxing classical music compared with audiobooks or no music at all.
  • LinkClick here to read the study

Relaxing classical music is an effective intervention in reducing sleeping problems. Nurses could use this safe, cheap and easy to learn method to treat insomnia.

Well, there you have it. Science is fantastic and so is music! These studies show that the right type of music used skillfully can make life more healing, help you go faster, get over an injury, sleep better and reduce depression.

here’s another example of ‘soothing’ yoga music!

Deliverance – From the album Homecoming

This track is from the album ‘Homecoming’ and is currently only available as part of The Ultimate Yoga Music Bundle.

Music is your friend. Start using it today to make your life better.

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3 thoughts on “The Healing Power of Music: 5 Scientific Studies”

  1. Hi, my name is Linda. I am 64 and I had Polio when I was just 4 from children’s shot here in the United States. I am now (in older age) and diabetic with being in a wheelchair. I enjoy music and fell in love with what I heard in your video of India and other places here on earth to visit. I have also thought yoga would be good for me since I am unable to walk or stand but I have not found the right one for just the arms and neck. I agree too that music can heal mind body and soul to where I can except myself for the changes that my body is putting me through now which is much different then what it was like as a child and young adult working, a family and enjoying life. My days are very much with pain and living with this new part of me has been very stressful to put it mildly. I am always looking for ways to improve my life. I don’t want to give up for the sake of my sons and grand-children. I am so glad to have found you and I just love the video showing the many locations for me to see and travel within my mind, heart and soul. Good job, your heart is in the right place along with talent! Stay Blessed! :+)

    1. Hi sweetheart, Just to let you know I am doing much better these days. I signed myself out of that seniors assisted living place in Indiana where I just felt it was not a place for me and moved to Houston Texas, U.S.A . I feel so much better with warmer climate. My youngest son lives here so not to worry I am not alone. Your music has blessed me so much in my quest for healing. Anything good in life that comes from the heart and is able to reach across to the other half of the world and is felt by me shows the powers that you have to help a soul to heal is God working through you. I wonder if this is your calling that God has place upon you to help us who are in need of love in our hearts? May God Bless You, Your Family, with the Love you have shared with me threw the love of music! Amen!

  2. This is a very interesting read with great research expressed! I am currently working on a blog for a university assignment expressing my experiences in relation to music and healing. I strongly stand by the facts and statements you have made in your blog, and have seen the positive impact music has had on me. After reading other individuals experiences with music and healing, I am lucky enough to only be dealing with anxiety although it still strongly interests me how powerful music is. I have found classical, smooth music has helped but I have also found my favourite pop/indie songs have too. I believe that music takes your mind off the busyness of life, calms your mind and body and brings confidence and energy. Regarding the point made about music improving sleep standards for students, I can honestly say that this is true. When I listen to calming music or sounds before I sleep my quality of sleep greatly enhances. This blog has presented a great read and has motivated myself to further research and listen to music on the daily!

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