Counsellor in Wrexham, Kim discusses the role of music in physical & mental health.

radioI love music.  I love listening to it, going to gigs and festivals and most of all singing and dancing along.  OK –  I get the words wrong and I can’t hit the high notes (my voice literally disappears!).  And yes, the only ones who appreciate my far from angelic tones are the dogs. I never learnt to play an instrument and my guess is that I would have been enthusiastic (yes) and awful (definitely!).  I am tone deaf.

BUT I get so much enjoyment out of singing along!  The upbeat songs fill me with energy and the sad songs can really echo my feelings which is comforting to sing along with too.  If I feel happy I pick happy songs, if I feel sad I can go either sad or happy (depending on how I want to go) and sometimes when I feel nostalgic only the golden oldies will do-The Carpenters anybody….?

Music is a motivator.  So it’s no surprise we listen to music when exercising.  Yet music does so much more for our physical and mental health.

Music can lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety in heart disease patients (Bradt & Dileo, 2009).

Music works on the limbic system which is the brain area responsible for our feelings.  happy music = happy mood and making music can increase feelings of happiness and help us to get on better with others (Ferguson & Shelson, 2013).

Music while working out increases your endurance, boosts your mood and the endorphins released from exercising distracts you from discomfort.

Music while studying or working can help you get back on track when struggling with a work problem or study issue.

Music for bonding and connecting with new and old friends whether you are in a choir or band, or perhaps watching the music makers.

Music is a massive part of my life so it’s no surprise that I share my passion by co-hosting the Diet, Health and Fitness Show with Denise Oliver on Calon FM (105) in Wrexham.  I get to talk about things that interest me (food and mental and physical health) and share with you my musical loves every Thursday noon to 1pm.  How do you bring music into your life?