It would be hard to imagine a life without music. It has the power to change how we feel on so many levels. Here are five reasons why listening to music can do a mind, body and soul good:

Music makes us feel good

Think of how you feel when you hear a favourite song—it can instantly change your mood or bring back a memory. There are many theories as to why music seems to be a universal pleasure, including the fact that our brains release dopamine when we listen to music, making us feel good.*

Music improves memory and concentration

While research by no means offers a definitive statement that background music can help you learn another language faster, or more easily understand a challenging book, one study of seniors found that subjects’ recall on memory tasks was faster and stronger when instrumental Mozart selections were playing in the background.*

Music can reduce pain

Can listening to music reduce chronic pain? According to a study of patients with fibromyalgia, those who were randomly assigned to listen to music once a day for four weeks experienced less pain and depression than those who had no music.*

In another study, people who had recently undergone spinal surgery and listened to music of their own choosing before and after surgery experienced significantly less pain than those in the control group.*

Music brings us together

Music acts as a catalyst to bring us together. That’s important because staying social is critical to seniors’ mental and physical health and well-being. Listening to a concert with others not only stimulates our “feel good” hormones, but it also gives us an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and community surrounding a shared experience—and it’s fun!

Music inspires us to keep moving

Many people use music as a distraction during exercise. Scientists suggest that’s because that Broadway show tune you love is competing with your feelings of tiredness within your brain—and thus a distraction is born.*

Research also demonstrates that people walking on a treadmill were able to walk longer when they were listening to motivational music, making it the perfect accompaniment on your next walk.*

Chartwell Retirement Residences offers engaging musical activities such as our signature Rhythm ‘n’ Moves exercise program, designed for fun, good health and staying socially active. Learn more at

*The following sources provided references for this blog, in order of appearance:
  1. Vox. “The scientific mystery of why humans love music.” Feb. 4, 2016
  2. Psychology Today. “Music’s effects on cognitive function in the elderly.” April 30, 2015
  3. The Vault at Music & Arts. “How does music benefit the health of senior citizens?” Aug. 1, 2017
  4. Pub Med. “Music therapy for patients receiving spine surgery.” April 15, 2011
  5. Scientific American. “Let’s get physical: The psychology of effective workout music.” March 20, 2013
  6. Pub Med. “Psychophysical and ergogenic effects of synchronous music during treadmill walking.” Feb. 2009