Health & FitnessLifestyle

How Music Heals

Victor Hugo,  a French novelist once wrote, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – what is it about music that affects us so deeply?

From birth, music has both the ability to calm us when we’re troubled, and uplift us to an energetic, upbeat mood; and yet, we are not entirely sure of why we’re so touched by the melodic sound.

To a certain level, we might know why we enjoy love songs or, say, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys.

This is most probably because some songs seem to be connected to our emotions.

So much so that depending on how individuals might be feeling, music can  either enhance or deter the conditions of our minds to a certain degree.

Since the dawn of time,  music has been a powerful tool of expression.

Lim Chun Tian, nine, playing the bonang during the ‘Gamelan Music and Movement Therapy’ at USM School of Arts.

For example, in Greek mythology, music has been shown to calm the savage beast in the story of the famous musician Orpheus.

In order to save his wife from the underworld, he has to get through Cerberus – the fierce three-headed dog that guards the land of the dead.

Orpheus was said to do this by playing such sweet, harmonious music that it tamed the vicious beast long enough for the musician to find his wife.

Although the story doesn’t end well for poor Orpheus, but it does teach us something about the reasoning and emotions aspect of human psychology.

The lesson here is when thinking logically is no longer possible, we are all easily weakened by emotional seduction.

It might explain why, when we’re feeling down, rather than try to solve our problems, we find ourselves feeling much better after listening to our favourite music.

One- and two-day-old babies listen to music with headphones at the 1st Private Hospital in the eastern Slovak metropol of Kosice-Saca as part of an experimental programme based on using musical therapy to improve the quality of care for newborns shortly after the birth. The music helps to stimulate communication and adaptation, and ease stress after birth


Music has tremendous universal appeal, and there’s a number of studies that suggest our preferred choice of music can also lower stress levels, improve our health, reduce depression, and help us to sleep better.

The reggae legend Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Perhaps the reason behind this is, all the times we thought about our problems, we are not only recalling the difficulty with every thought but we are also bringing up unpleasant emotions.

However, when listening to music we are concentrating on something that often connects with us in a way that words don’t, so at least for a short time, we are given a break from our troubles.

So, the next time you’re feeling down or overwhelmed at work, you might want to try listening to some uplifting songs to help restore order to your universe.

According to The Star, similarly, if a friend is upset or anxious, it might help  to sit with them as both of you listen to a playlist of meaningful songs together.

Music can be euphoric. This means it can cause us to feel joyful.

Whether it comes from a beautiful choir or a rap song, it seems to go beyond our own rationale and reasoning and often helps us to understand of our experiences where thinking falls short.

The strongest effect of music, is,  it reconnects us to times lost or feelings we desperately need, especially when the hustle and bustle of life can make us feel as though we’ve lost touch with who we are thanks to the the stresses that we always encounter.

There is a strong case which state, we will be psychologically and emotionally better if we take the time to listen to music on a daily basis.

Sometimes the things that we routinely overlooked are the things that are most precious to us.

Music is perhaps, unique in that only a few people dislike it.

There truly is something for everyone, and science suggests that it can do us a lot of good if we listened to more of it.

To reword biologist Charles Darwin, it might be good for us to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every day.

Not only by doing so we can acquire many benefits as suggested by research, but it would also reconnect us to one of the important reasons of being alive in the first place – to enjoy the gifts of life while we still have the time to do so.

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