The new research by BAST has tried to identify how long one should spend listening to music before a neurological response begins to activate – and exactly what genres stimulates positive neural responses.
These neuroscientists explain that most people actively listen to or hear music every day. They claim both that humans tend to change their playlists based on their moods, and that music can have an effect on our health. With that said, wouldn’t it be great if we could prescribe music to help with certain states of mood?
Music for Relaxation
Thirteen minutes were found to be the optimum listening time in the case of music used for relaxation. It’s characterized by simple melodies, no lyrics, and a slow tempo, like Weightless, by Marconi Union. It’s a song from this Manchester-based musician trio that was found to reduce anxiety symptoms by up to 65%. Their tests reported positive benefits, including negative thoughts disappearing, decreased muscle tension, and feeling content and peaceful while being able to sleep better.
Music for Happiness
For those who prefer dancing to get their cardio workouts, an upbeat tune is found to bring happiness into their minds and greater power into their legs. After listening to something with a fast tempo, driving rhythm, and happy lyrical content for just 9 minutes, 89% of the tested individuals had improved energy levels, 82% felt more in control of their lives or able to take on anything, and 65% laughed more or felt happier.
It Helps to Release or Process Sadness
Because sadness is personal, the individuals that were tested unsurprisingly selected musical styles with lyrics that they connected with. Like with listening for relaxation, 13 minutes were enough for optimal benefit. The neuroscientists claimed that listening to music against sadness caused listeners to feel less overwhelmed, a sense of relief, and be less likely to be triggered by things that reminded them of issues.