We’ve all said “I love all music genres… except X and X” at one point. But to reap all the benefits that music can offer, you might have to climb out of your comfort zone. Some of the health benefits attributed by scientists to music only apply to certain genres or styles of music. Even if you don’t necessarily like a genre, trying to find a few songs that have the right beneficial attributes might help you both mentally and physically.
Downtempo and sleep
This one is pretty intuitive, but it’s nice to have the data to back it up. Downtempo music is a good sleep aid. Even if you skip it on your commute or during a party, this music should definitely be in your bedtime playlist.
Rock and health
Loud rock music might just have a positive effect on your overall health. According to researchers at Manchester University, loud music stimulates the sacculus, a part of the inner ear. They don’t believe it has any hearing function and it’s only sensitive to volumes above 90 decibels. “Feel good” hormones that make us calm, happy, and responsive are released when it’s stimulated. Don’t skip it, turn it up!
Instrumental and intelligence
There’s definitely a correlation between intelligence and listening to classical music, but new studies are finding that a lot of instrumental music is connected to intelligence.
According to Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics and Political Science, people who are more intelligent are more likely to like instrumental music compared to music with vocals due to evolution. From the dawn of time, people have enjoyed music with singing, but those with higher intelligence are drawn to the instrumental variety found in most instrumental tracks. So, it might not make you more intelligent, but if you like it, you might just be.
Rap and depression
Here’s something that you don’t think about every day. Back in 2014, Cambridge University did a study that theorized that the rags to riches positive outlook of rap could be thought of as almost a therapy toward self-actualization. The Guardian sums it up as, “imagining a heavily blinged-out version of yourself taking your pet panther for a walk is an important step towards actually becoming that person.” Next time, you hear rap, dig deeper into the lyrics.
Metal and self
Heavy metal listeners are often happier with the decisions they’ve made in the past. Humboldt State University did a study with 377 people, including 154 who identified as metal fans, and it turns out that they had a strong community which directly reflected on their sense of self. They may have made some questionable decisions in the metal circles that they ran with, but the community and a lack of regrets made them happier as a result. Is it time to find a buddy who listens to metal?
Pop and endurance
If you’re ready to get your physical fitness on, you may want to turn the pop music up. A study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology stated that the test group listening to poppy music had better endurance. Maybe it’s pop, maybe it’s the motivation, or maybe it’s just a great beat, but no matter what it is, it’ll probably help your endurance. Think about that the next time you go for a run.
Which of the facts did you already know? Are we missing any genres that you’ve heard awesome science facts about? Tell us about them over on Twitter!