The Tricks Music Plays On Your Brain
Published 22 December 2018
Written by Sarah

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The Tricks Music Plays On Your Brain

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You might’ve noticed that music can affect your mood – think of all those feel good songs you put on when you’re feeling down – but you might not realise that listening to music can make you smarter, healthier and more productive too. Advances in neuroscience have found that music activates every known part of the brain, but what does it really do?

It helps you remember

A 2009 study from Petr Janata at the University of California, found that there is a part of the brain that “associates music and memories when we experience emotionally salient episodic memories that are triggered by familiar songs from our personal past.”. In other words music can bring back memories from your past – which is why patients with Alzheimer’s are often made playlists with music from their past to help them reconnect with the world.

It improves your mood & reduces stress

It’s well known that playing upbeat music can improve your mood, but music can also reduce stress by lowering cortisol (your stress hormone) and boost your dopamine levels. It’s not all about happy music though, sad music can also be cathartic and help you get through those tough times – so don’t be afraid to blast out those heartbreak classics!

It boosts productivity & creativity

When you need to get your head down you might like to pump out the tunes, but when it comes to being creative playing moderate level music will really get your creative juices flowing. It’s been found that moderate noise levels make it harder for us to process things as we normally would, which leads to abstract thinking and more creative approaches.

“By listening to music we can override our brains”

It helps you exercise

Research from way back in 1911 by Leonard Ayres found that cyclists pedalled faster when listening to music than when in silence. And it’s true – by listening to music we can override our brains telling us we’re tired and want to stop exercising. It won’t just keep you pushing through the pain for longer either, it will also help you use your energy more efficiently – so get those headphones on next time you hit the gym.

We worked with Soundscape when creating The Project at Hoxton to create playlists for each area to help you get the most out of them – find out more here.

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