Four Ways Music Makes You Healthier

Everybody knows good music makes people happy. But did you know music can have a positive impact on your health?

At The Homestead, we believe there's no better place to listen to lively summer music than up on Bay Mountain - The Resort's stunning outdoor concert venue overlooking Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. After you check out the four ways music can make you healthier, take a sneak peek at what's in store for concertgoers during the 2013 Music on the Mountain series kicking off in June.

Lower Anxiety

Listening to relaxing tunes might work just as well (and be more cost effective) than getting a massage, according to researchers a Group Health Research Institute.

The 2010 study included 68 people who received 10 massages with music, lying down while listening to music (but didn't get a massage) or were wrapped with warm pads and towels while listening to music (but didn't get a massage), according to U.S. News Health. On average, patients showed half the symptoms of anxiety three months after getting a series of 10 hour-long massages. But researchers were surprised to find that massages didn't reduce anxiety any more than lying down and listening to enjoyable music.

As Good As Food and Sex

Say what? In 2011, Medical News Today reported on a Canadian study that measured dopamine in response to music. Researchers from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital found that experiencing and even anticipating thrilling music releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, a "pleasure" chemical in the brain that is linked to tangible rewards like food, drugs and sex. Scientists found that the more the "chills" or "frisson" the music elicits, even in the anticipation phase, the more dopamine is released.

Brain Booster

Having musical training could protect your mental sharpness in old age, according to a 2012 study by Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, a clinical neuropsychologist in Emory University School of Medicine's Department of Neurology.

The study confirmed that individuals who took up and practiced some form of musical training (e.g. learning to play piano or guitar) for at least a decade showed a preserved range of cognitive benefits, including memory, in people between the ages of 60 -80.

Heart Health

According to a University of Maryland School of Medicine study, emotions aroused by joyful music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function. Researchers found that the diameter of blood vessels grew by 26 percent when a person listened to music that made them feel good or brought on a sense of happiness. The opposite effect was noted when a person listened to anxiety-triggering music, which caused blood vessels to narrow by 6 percent.