The Psychological Effects of Music

While listening to music can be entertaining, it also has known psychological benefits and affects the mood of the listener in various ways. Music can therapeutic and relax the mind and body, or even energise and relieve pain. It is well known that music can affect our though processes which can then have an impact on the body and mind through our subconscious thoughts. Moreover, music has a deep connection to human civilisation and has played a large part in our history through the years due to its ability to evoke emotions and tell stories. Different civilisations and cultures have discovered and evolved their own forms of unique music due to these reasons. In addition to simply listening to music, creating music is also an important aspect of the human creative effort and also contributes several benefits to the human mind. This article describes several psychological effects music has on the human psyche.

Stress Relief

This is the most widely known effect of listening to music and several research have shown that listening to music helps reduce stress levels in patients. Listening to and performing music is a legitimate form of stress relief and many people play musical instruments cope with stress. Creative exercises such as playing musical instruments are known to improve cognitive function which allow them to focus on tasks such as studying and reading later. Many people also take small instruments to play on the go to make use of these effects and benefits while they are travelling or in unfamiliar places.

Memory Improvement

Music helps us recall certain memories or ideas by associating them with a particular tone or melody. This helps people improve their recollection abilities through music through this technique that associates other memories with musical memories. A common application of this technique among students is to create a mnemonic or song pattern to remember complicated patterns of numbers or text (such as the periodic table of elements) to make the recollection easier, by remembering the melody.

Better Sleep

While many people suffer from the inability to sleep, which results in dire health issues, listening to classical or relaxing music has shown to improve sleep patterns and help in falling asleep. This is commonly utilised by college students as a safe and affordable alternative to sleep therapy. Listening to music while or before sleeping is known to both increase sleep quality and help with insomnia.


While listening to music is not a miracle cure for depression it has been known to reduce the symptoms of depression. While music as a treatment may be effective for depression, it should be noted that it is not a “cure”. Depression should be treated in proven methods without relying on alternatives that may do more harm than good – although music is less likely to have harmful effects on patients.


Music is a mood regulator and can change our demeanour. Music can improve performance in various activities such as endurance and other physically exhausting activities.

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