May 2022

Hitting the Right Notes: How Music Improves Quality of Life

It may be no surprise that music has a positive effect on mental health, but now we have clinical data backing that up. Here’s the latest.

A recent meta-analysis evaluated the effects of music on quality of life – both physical and mental. The research evaluated listening to music, making music (instrumental or singing), or participating in sessions of music therapy. It turns out that any type of music intervention, alone or with standard care, improves both mental and physical quality of life when compared with standard care alone – but only changes in mental quality of life seem to be clinically relevant. Additionally, the type, duration, and frequency of music intervention doesn’t seem to impact its benefits in people with various types of medical conditions.

Mental health continues to be a struggle for many. Fortunately, research on many non-pharmacological interventions is picking up, adding to the arsenal of available treatment options providers can suggest to their patients. In addition to the promising research on music, there’s also growing evidence supporting practices such as mindfulness and mantra meditation for various mental health concerns. Check out our monographs on Mind-Body Interventions to learn more.

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