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Does Music Make You Happy?

Whether you sit quietly or dance up a storm when listening to music, it can have a tremendous impact on how you feel. Check out this short video, 7 Truths About Music and turn up the volume up the next time you hear your favorite song! Find more health tips at AARP Staying Sharp today, an AARP member benefit.

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Contributor

Singing has been shown to release endorphins, which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. They are often called "feel-good" chemicals because they can create a positive feeling in the body.  Singing together in our group sessions also seems to contribute to a sense of community and belonging.


I have watched miracles with music over the last 13 years doing therapeutic music sessions for active independent seniors (LOL...like myself 😊 ), assisted living, nursing homes, and seniors with memory issues.  After each session most of the people smile a LOT more than they did before the session (whether in a senior community, on my YouTube live stream for seniors, or in a Zoom session)


Listening to and singing with familiar music can also have cognitive benefits. I have also heard of studies that show music can improve attention, reduce agitation, facilitate cognitive function, and enhance overall quality of life in people with Alzheimer's and dementia. This makes sense to me since I have noticed that when I play music that a person enjoyed during their adolescent years, it has a strong impact.


One example is a gentleman in a memory care community I played at.  He was in a wheelchair, slumped, head down, not engaged at all.  When I finally played a song that he resonated with his head came up, he smiled, he became a bit more animated, and he started singing every word of the song with me. The staff went running up to him because it was the most life they'd seen in him for a while.  It was exciting.


My name is LindiMoo and I'm a moooo-sician. 🐮 Yes, I believe music that resonates with me makes me really happy.  After each 1 hour session of constant singing I always feel more energized than when I started and many times I've had aches and pains disappear afterwards, too.  I would highly recommend singing out loud to your favorite adolescent song whenever you can to get the benefits of those "feel good" chemicals.  Even better...moooooove around when you do it 😎  

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Newbie

Even though caffeine doesn't keep me awake (worst mutant superhero power ever), music will, depending on what it is. Lyrics are the most important aspect for me, which is why I don't listen to some types (Muzak is right out, as well as anything advocating violence against certain groups; every other style is fine). When I was a kid, I'd fall asleep to an excellent local classical station, so if I want to keep awake, I'd better watch it there. 😉

 

My favorite classical composers are: Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bach (mostly J.S.), Mussorgsky, Dvorak, etc., folks guaranteed to keep me awake. My favorite current/recent composers are mostly all movie soundtrack creators: Basil Poledouris, John Williams, Howard Shore, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, etc. If my goal is staying awake, I prefer to play soundtrack albums from movies/TV shows I've seen, so I can "replay" the scenes in my head. 😉

 

If I have to focus on creating something, like writing, or solving math-type problems, I'll want classical on in the background, rather than something with lyrics; otherwise, gimme the words! 😄

 

Playing instruments is fun as well; I can play piano, autoharp (meh; anyone can play an autoharp...), recorder flute/tin whistle, tuba, trumpet, percussion (without sticks), and I'm learning ukulele. 🙂

 

 

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Bronze Conversationalist

I enjoy music, both listening and playing.  My mother was an excellent pianist, and my father played anything he heard on the piano just from hearing it.  I started taking piano lessons when I was six years old.  Later in life I worked for a short while at a music store, and when someone asked for a recorder, I directed them to the stereo section, not realizing that a recorder was a musical instrument.  The store owner gave me a plastic soprano recorder, and with my piano background I was able to learn to play it.  Fast forward a few years and I started a Renaissance/Baroque ensemble, and eventually performed in Renaissance Faires and other places all up and down the West Coast, and was a guest performer a high tea at the Empress Hotel in British Colombia.  I've learned to play several other instruments over the years, too.  I also love listening to classical instrumental music.  However, when I was a teenager Elvis became popular, and despite my musical background I loved him and some who followed.  I know that playing music, and listening to 'good' music, has helped my brain and nerves over the years.  I feel bad for those who have never experienced 'real' music!

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Periodic Contributor

Music has been an integral part of my life from as early as I can remember. It keeps me moving when I need to get work done, it lifts my spirits when I am down, calms me so I can rest, revs me up so I can't help but dance! My musical taste is omnivorous - as long as it is well done, musically performed well will always have a place in my life and heart. I have zero musical talent of my own (tried three different instruments plus my voice - uh...nope), unfortunately, but I do have a very good ear and a sense of rhythm, so I join the local drum circle from time to time - quietly 😉

Learn something new, walk somewhere beautiful, and be grateful every day,
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Social Butterfly

Some songs just make me dance like no one is watching!

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For sure, I live music, I'm always dancing like no one's watching cause they aren't. Lol

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Contributor

Music is SO powerful!  Memories!  Emotions!  

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Newbie

Music is life! Without music, I could not go on!

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Music is very important to me and my husband. We listen to everything from Billie Holliday to Coldplay and all in between. It's a bonding thing for us, remembering memories when we first heard the music.We have learned alot about each other through the music.

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Periodic Contributor

Music always is healthy for the brain, body and overall good feelings.  Whatever your mood their is a tune and group to move and enjoy throughout your life.  It's one of the best medicines and you don't need a prescription.  Just have fun alone or with a group.

🤗

 

 

 

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Regular Contributor

Music in my life is very important me. My radio is on all day when I'm home

tuned to the classical/jazz station. When I want to hear a song I haven't heard

in a while, I go to YouTube. Incredible....whole LP's, live performances and old tv performances. I need to move...disco. My soul needs attention...gospel. I want to sing...70's soft rock or 70's RnB. I want to be inspired...instrumentals.

Listening to music keeps our brains sharp...synapses moving. Our ears take it in and our brains process it.

If I become infirm, I hope some kind soul will put my head phones on me or put a cd in my player so that I can go to that place that music takes me. 

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Contributor

Absolutely! It can turn a blah day into a happy day! Turn on a peppy tune, and I can't help but sind and dance. I love happy songs that reinforce the good!

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Social Butterfly

Like @jonibee , it depends. Music is very important to me.  I also listen to songs about depression. It may not help lighten the current depression, but it does make you feel that you are not alone in the way you feel. And everyone needs to feel that someone understands. Especially when you do not have others around you. Music can help in reinforcing good moods and lifting others.

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Gold Conversationalist

Hi @Vexed

you bring up some good points......

 

Those who experience mental health issues... especially disorders that affect our mood, thinking and behavior...could benefit from listening to songs about depression.....which may ultimately help to soothe and calm them down......especially after a tough stressful day. Music therapy can be effective in helping people heal from anxiety anguish & despair..... & possibly help foster better awareness and acceptance of mental health concerns!

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Contributor

Janice Ian, Tea and Sympathy, great "depression" listen.

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Regular Contributor

🎻Music Rocks!

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Trusted Social Butterfly

It depends on the mood I'm in and what song plays..Some songs have lifted me out of a mood while others bring back a memory that can also affect my mood..I like bouncy tunes when doing chores. Some songs are uplifting so I guess it's a matter of choice of which radio station or song we choose to listen to that determines our mood..Basically I'm a happy person...

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Yes!

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