Have you ever really thought about and appreciated the power of music in your life? Ever since I was a child I have loved to listen to music. I have over 20,000 songs on different playlists on Pandora. I enjoy all genres of music and frankly like to crank it up. My wife on occasion might say, “Can you please turn it down,?” but most of the time she lets me wander with my thoughts. When I was younger my mother used to play Elvis on our old home stereo and dance around the living room like a wild woman. I bought my first stereo system at age 18. I was living with my grandmother at the time and she fell in love with that stereo while I was in the service for four years. She would dig out her old 78 rpm records and some newer 33 RPMs and just dance around the living room with the music turned up. It truly was a sight to see and she loved it when someone would try to do a little dance with her or just bounce around. The power of music is unequaled.
It has been proven that listening to music heightens positive emotion in the reward centers of our brain. It provides us with hits of dopamine that make us feel elated and good. It also lightens up other areas of the brain and it is claimed that no area is untouched. It helps in post-surgical recovery and improves the outcome for people with Alzheimer’s. Studies have proven that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. In another study involving surgery patients, the stress-reducing effects of music were more powerful than an orally-administered anxiolytic drug. In a 2013 study dealing with musculoskeletal pain, the group that listened to music experienced significant pain reduction and fewer depressive symptoms.
The medical benefits are great, but nothing beats a drive in the car with the windows down and the stereo turned up. That is some real therapy right there. WhenI owned a Datsun 240 Z I would always put on a favorite song and turn it up as I went cruising down the road. In my own house, I would always crank the stereo and my sons still have favorite songs that they remember me blaring through the speakers. It must have worked because both of my sons love music. My one son is a drummer with a deep knowledge of music and can beat most people in a game of name that tune. My other son loves music and recently discovered the Grateful Dead and is currently chasing the remaining members around the East Coast. Maybe I shouldn’t have turned it up so loud.
Many of us listen to music when walking, running, or working out. It can give us that extra boost, that adrenaline rush we love. Music is a wonderful companion on a run or a road trip, so I’ll leave you on this note…..Turn It Up! Turn it Up! Turn it Up!
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