8 reasons to tune up your life

We all enjoy humming along with a favourite tune in the car, or streaming our favourite music whilst vacuuming. But as well as being fun and enjoyable, music has been shown to have many health benefits.

1. Lowers stress

Listening to music has been proven to lower levels of cortisol - known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol can have a negative effect on mood, can lower our immune system, wreak havoc with our digestion and even affect our metabolism.

2. Helps us to eat less

Putting on music with a slow tempo whilst eating can slow down speedy eaters. This could benefit those who tend to overeat, making them more aware of what they are consuming and when they are full.

3. Keeps us mindful

Listening to music has been shown to increase our concentration and keep us ' in the moment' - a great boost when completing a task that requires concentration. If you find lyrics distracting when studying or reading, try listening to classical music instead.

4. Tunes up our emotions

Whilst listening to sad songs, or those with associated memories, can make us feel a little blue, music can be important in helping us get in touch with our feelings. That's why sticking on a sad song after a break-up or shedding a few tears when an emotive song comes on can feel cathartic.

5. Boosts memory

Studies have shown that music can be extremely beneficial for memory - whatever your age. Music can be helpful in aiding recall when revising for a test, and has even been shown to positively affect those suffering from dementia, by helping them to access storied memories.

6. Motivates

Whether it's going for a run, cleaning out a cupboard or getting on with the paperwork, listening to music can be a great motivator. Try putting on up-tempo music for an accompanied energy boost!

7. Makes us smile

We all know that listening to our favourite album can lighten a dreary mood, but studies have shown that music can even boost the release of dopamine, a chemical released when we eat chocolate, or go for a run, increasing feelings of positivity.

8. Gives us a brain workout

Studies have shown that the brains of professional musicians are often more developed than others. Whilst we may not have the time or energy to study music in the same way, listening to music or -even better - learning an instrument is great for brain health.

It's clear that switching on the radio or streaming our favourite tunes can have a positive effect on many areas of our lives. Perhaps it's time for a tune up?


Gillian Harvey is a freelance writer, qualified teacher and mother-of-five young children, currently living in France.  Follow her on twitter: @GillPlusFive