It’s long been said that music is mind medicine. Advances in neuroscience and brain imaging are revealing what’s happening in the brain to prove this true.
Research shows that listening to music can reduce anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, memory, increase some cognitive functions, enhance learning and concentration, and ward off the effects of brain aging. Music is so good for your brain because it is one of the few activities that stimulates your whole brain. Because music is structural, mathematical, and architectural based on relationships between one note and the next, it’s a total brain workout.
When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing. A recent imaging study found that music activated auditory, motor, and limbic brain regions no matter whether people were listening to Vivaldi or the Beatles. Research determined that the motor areas process rhythm, the auditory areas process sound, while the limbic regions are associated with emotions.