A team of researchers at the University of Vienna, Germany, has found evidence that listening to music when stressed can boost a person’s mood and help them relax. In their paper published in JAMA Network Open, the group describes an experiment they conducted with volunteers under the stress of living under lockdown rules during The early days of the global pandemic.
Previous research has suggested that listening to music can temporarily reduce feelings of stress, but as the researchers note, most of these studies had the potential to lead to unintended biases. Anecdotal evidence also indicated that music effectively reduces stress, and in this new effort. Researchers sought to find more concrete evidence of the mental health benefits of listening to music.
To this end, they designed and implemented a study that involved creating a smartphone app for volunteers to use. The app allowed 711 adult participants to record their mood and music listening habits five times per day for one week. During each query, each volunteer’s current level of stress was chosen from a list; Likewise, they rated their moment-to-moment mood from the food list. All volunteers lived in either Austria or Italy.-
The researchers conducted the study during the early days of the pandemic when people were told to stay home and businesses closed, creating a global environment of massive fear, stress and tension.--
The researchers found what they described as an association between lower levels of stress and states of listening to music, particularly when listening to upbeat or upbeat music. The researchers note that previous research has shown that happy music can activate parts of the brain associated with mood regulation.
The researchers also found that the effect of listening to music over a period of time can affect a person’s memories. Volunteers who listened to more happy music during lockdown reported feeling less anxious after it was over than other volunteers. Those who work with stressed clients may find it helpful to suggest playing some happy music.