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5 Great Reasons to Use Music with Greater Intention

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Mindful ListeningMUSIC RELAXES THE MIND.         Music has a wonderful way of making the mind forget feelings of fatigue by helping us de-stress and relax. The right music can reduce stress by reducing cortisol levels, a chemical in your brain that causes you to feel stress in the first place. Are you wondering if your favourite music is helping your health? Good questions to ask are: Does this music make me feel more anxious or more relaxed? Self-pitying or stronger? Uncomfortable or calm?_____________________________________________

girl showing painted hands


Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have constructed a study which concluded that listening to your favorite music may be good for your cardiovascular system. Music that brings about feelings of joy has a positive effect on blood vessel functions. In the study, participants were allowed to select music which made them feel good and brought them joy. The joyful music caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to expand, improving blood flow, whereas music that was perceived as stressful caused their blood vessels to narrow, restricting blood flow. The equation is simple – listening to music you find joyful can help you, whereas listening to music you don’t relate to or feel good about can actually harm you.


Singing Seniors


When asked to remember your favourite song from High School you may recall not only the song but your friends, your school, the park you hung out at, or the couch in your friends basement where you listened to endless replays of the same song. People have long known that music triggers powerful recollections, but now a brain-scan study has shown us even more. The part of the brain known as the medial pre-frontal cortex sits just behind the forehead and helps us travel down memory lane. “What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.” said Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California. Music helps us feel connected to our feelings, our environment and the people around us—to feel connected to a bigger experience, a memory or a person we love.




Connecting to the music that is important to us is the first step to having it help change our emotional state. Understanding music’s value is the first step to really tuning in to music. The next step to using music intentionally is to take a look at how music affects us emotionally so that you can use music more proactively to help you when you need an emotional boost or if you’re experiencing emotionally difficult times. What music would help you feel better immediately, help motivate you, and charge you up enough so you don’t feel so overwhelmed? The piece you choose should take you out of your current emotional state and move you into your more desired and needed emotional state.




Our life’s soundtrack is selecting the songs from your music library—all the music you have encountered throughout your lifetime—that represent key events and memories (both good and bad) in your life. When we work through the development of our life’s soundtrack it gives us a glimpse into how our music choices over a long period of time affect us – and visa versa how the music of our life and the associated stories have molded us. Specific songs or styles of music can eventually become your anchor songs, songs that anchor you to a feeling and when you hear that specific piece you feel rooted into that same emotional state time and time again – anchoring strong, vibrant feelings you need in your day to day life.