Why is music so important for our mental wellbeing?
Music has a way of stimulating our emotions and can rouse feelings such as happiness, anger or fear. In a study published by ResearchGate it was shown that “anxiety and depression can be reduced by music, and the music which is liked by the listener will invoke a more positive state.”
Listening to happy, upbeat music sends a signal to our brain which then releases ‘happy hormones’ such as serotonin and dopamine which in turn makes us feel more joyous. Similarly, if we listen to calming music, it can help us to feel more relaxed.
How can music benefit the workplace?Reduces stress: If we are feeling stressed or anxious at work, listening to music that we enjoy can help reduce these kinds of negative feelings. Studies have also shown that music can help lower our blood pressure and levels of cortisol which can help us to deal with stressful situations in a more positive and relaxed way.
Increased productivity: Because listening to music that we love can elevate our mood, this also has a knock-on-effect on our concentration levels, which sharpens our focus so that we can be more productive. This is great for anyone who performs repetitive tasks at work, making the day feel less mundane. In addition, classical music has been shown to be good for boosting levels of concentration owing to the fact that it has no lyrics to distract our thoughts.
Improves memory: Because listening to music eases feelings of stress and anxiety, our brains are able to retain more information for longer periods of time and this helps us to remain focused on the task at hand. Often at work we find ourselves having to retain information, especially when we're learning something new, so it’s important that our memory serves us well in these instances.
Boosts team morale: When working in a team, certain situations can become stressful, particularly when everyone is busy. Allowing music in the workplace not only helps to reduce stress, increase energy levels and create a happier environment, but it can also assist in forming emotional connections among staff. However, not everyone will enjoy listening to the same kinds of music so it could be a good idea to let a different member of the team select the music each day. Alternatively, you could allow everyone to play their own choice of music through their headphones.