We can all think of at least one song that, when we hear it, triggers an emotional response. It might be a song that accompanied the first dance at your wedding, for example, or a song that reminds you of a difficult break-up or the loss of a loved one. We all have such a deep connection to music because it is ‘hardwired’ in our brains and bodies.
Given the deep connection we have with music, it is perhaps unsurprising that numerous studies have shown it can benefit our mental health. In a 2011 study it is found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.
But increasingly, researchers are finding that the health benefits of music may go beyond mental health, and as a result, some health experts are calling for music therapy to be more widely incorporated into health care settings.