Classical music has been known to make us smarter. Experts promote playing classical music to help babies’ brain development when they sleep. Aside from making us smarter, this particular type of music can also promote mental health. In a world in total flux, finding time to go to the opera can be good for us in more ways than one.
Below, we’ll explore how classical music can foster mental health and well-being.
Connecting with our emotions
One of the most important forces of mental health therapy is human connection. Finding other people who are going through the same things you are is one of the most effective ways to get over any mental health challenge. An article by Classical MPR notes that similarly, sad and melancholic music serves the same purpose. Sad music validates our own emotions of sorrow, grief or loneliness. When we listen to Samuel Barber’s heart-rendering Adagio for Strings, it helps us feel connected to all those who have suffered the same emotions, which can be enormously comforting.
There are days where all we want to do relax in bed and not have to do anything. Too much of this can lead to the deterioration of our mental health. The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied found that a person’s ‘boredom proneness’ and the complexity of the task correlated to whether or not music contributed to productivity. Thus licensed clinical psychologist Catherine Jackson says that “Research suggests listening to music helps make repetitive tasks easier and is why it is sometimes recommended to listen to music at work or while completing chores at home.”
Stress and anxiety relief
Neurologist Dr. Michael Schneck found that classical music helps relieve anxiety. More and more studies are finding that music helps lower cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. A post by Lottoland on how music is good for your health, states that it also increases blood flow by 26%, laughter by 16% and relaxation by 11%. Indeed, research published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice studied 180 patients and found that listening to natural sounds, classical Turkish or Western music helped reduced anxiety by lowering cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate. While they all led to positive attributes, the classical Turkish music proved to be the most effective in stress and anxiety relief.
Building social relationships
Music is universal. Classical music especially promotes this universality through emotive instrumentals. Even if the piece does involve a foreign language, the instrumentals work to convey the feeling of the song. That being said, music is also a great way to counter loneliness and isolation. For one, music allows you to connect with others who share the same taste as you. Going to watch an opera or a concert is a unique bonding experience that’s beneficial to your mental health. Aside from it being an opportunity to form relationships with others, it’s also one of the best ways to listen to classical music. Live music, even in unlikely places like the 1931 Art Deco movie palace Le Chateau, provides an acoustic experience you won’t get listening to recordings. Live music connects you directly to the musicians, and is a great way to spend an evening in town.