Guest Post by Kevin Myers, MSPH, Suicide Prevention Program at DPH
Massachusetts native physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once recommended, “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.” In today’s world, there are several opportunities to enjoy what Wendell Holmes coined a “music bath” and boost your mental wellness. For example, outdoor concerts and music festivals, sometimes free of charge, allow you to relish the fresh air while you listen to music in the company of others.
The internet is a fantastic setting to explore and listen to new music thanks to free websites such as Pandora, Spotify, Last.fm, and Grooveshark. You can gain exposure to new music that sounds similar to what you already enjoy, share with others what you are listening, and see what your friends are listening to. Let out your creative side by composing music that reflects your mood, joining a local drum circle, or just listen and whistle while you work. One study has demonstrated that you can perform better at your job with background noise, even if it’s not your favorite type of music.
Did you know that music can even trigger autobiographical memories? When you hear a familiar song from your past, your brain can recall memories of a particular person or place. This can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from memory loss. Music has been used as therapy for centuries. Hippocrates and Aristotle believed in the healing power of music. Music has the power to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation. Research suggests that listening to a certain Mozart sonata can reduce the number of seizures in people who have epilepsy. The positive effects of music in elementary schools include improvement in attentiveness, focus, and interest in learning.
The methods in which we hear music has evolved from the radio to the Internet and from record players to iPods. What has remained constant is the ability to share one generation’s music with another generation. Music can often bridge the generation gap and foster relationships by bonding with older generations about music from their day.
Take some time today to enjoy the music around you!
Weekly Flu Report, May 27, 2016 posted on May 27
Flu rates in Massachusetts continued to decline over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This week’s report is the last to be published for the 2015-2016 flu season. Weekly Flu Reports will resume at the outset of the 2016-2017 flu season. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, May 27, 2016
Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic! posted on May 26
It’s finally that time of year where you can bring your family outdoors to enjoy the warm and sunny weather! Having a picnic with your family and friends is a great way to enjoy a meal, try new foods, and be outdoors. Plus, packing …Continue Reading Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic!
Weekly Flu Report, May 20, 2016 posted on May 20
Rates of flu-like illness continued to decline over the past seven days, according the latest weekly flu report. The report can be viewed here.