Why Music is Good For Your Brain

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Deane Alban | Wake Up World

Music has played an important part of every human culture, both past and present. People around the world experience universal responses to music. We’re all familiar with how certain pieces of music can change your mood, get you motivated, or help you concentrate. And now, advances in neuroscience enable researchers to quantitatively measure how music affects the brain.

Their discoveries are exciting — and good news for music lovers.


Music is a fantastic brain exercise that activates every known part of the brain. Music can make you smarter, happier and more productive at all stages of life. Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest findings on the many ways both playing and listening to music can enhance your brain.

Musicians Have Better Brains

If you want evidence of how music affects the brain, it makes sense to look at the brains of people who play a lot of music — professional musicians. Brain scans show that their brains are different than the those of the rest of us. Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical. Areas of the brain responsible for motor control, auditory processing, and spatial coordination are larger. They also have a larger corpus callosum, which is the band of nerve fibers that enables the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other.

Change Your Mood with Music

Science has now proven what music lovers already know, that listening to upbeat music can improve your mood. Listening and playing music reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Music can make you feel more hopeful, powerful, and in control of your life. And listening to sad music has its benefits, too. If you are going through a tough time, listening to sad music is cathartic; it can help you get in touch with those emotions to help heal them.

Even if you aren’t a professional musician, listening to music can still enhance your work performance. Listening to music at work can make you a happier, more productive employee — especially if it’s music you’ve chosen. Office workers allowed to listen to the kind of music they like complete tasks more quickly and come up with better ideas than those who have no control over their musical choices.

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15 Reader Comments

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  1. Change can be scary, but you know what’s more scary? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.

  2. it took science to figure this out?

  3. Who didn’t already know this?

  4. Marianne very good article.

  5. I like slow beat music with honorable words in melodious voice.I don’t like cheap words n noise polluted music.no fast beats of drum .ekdum slow sweet soft n magical musical songs can give relief to my mind.

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