According to famed philosopher Friedrich Nietzche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” It seems Nietzche’s words ring just as true in the minds of many today as when he first uttered them over a century ago. However, while many people consider their favorite playlist little more than a welcome distraction to break up the monotony of the workweek, music may actually be a cure-all for more than just a dull day behind a desk. In fact, listening to music can have a wealth of whole-body benefits that make you more focused, more productive, and, in the long run, more successful. Don’t believe the hype? Read on to discover why you might not want to leave home without your headphones again.
It reduces your stress level: One of the greatest enemies of the focused mind is stress. On both a mental and physical level, stress can make you less healthy, distracting your brain and flooding your body with cortisol, a hormone that can trigger the storage of belly fat and may predispose you to conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, the solution is simple: Listen to music. According to research published in PLoS One, people who listened to music during stressful periods recovered more quickly than those who listened to ambient noise or nothing at all.
It improves your brain health: If you want to be productive well into your golden years, there’s no time like the present to build a can’t-beat playlist. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing reveals that elderly people who recently underwent knee surgery had far less confusion and were able to get back on their feet sooner again than those who weren’t prescribed music as a treatment option, suggesting that younger and healthier populations’ brains can benefit from a few carefully-curated songs, too.
It can relieve depression: Depression can sap a person of their productivity, focus, and their will to succeed in virtually no time. The good news? A little music may be able to turn things around in a hurry. A review of research published in Frontiers in Psychology confirms the results of multiple studies that have shown music to be an effective cure for depression that might otherwise present a stumbling block in life. So, Next time you’re home and feeling unable to move try music as a solution.
It can improve your memory: One of the biggest keys to success is simply having a good memory—it’s why successful CEOs learn everything they can about their employees and make vested efforts to never forget a name. The good news? The perfect tool for a better memory is well within the reach of your everyman, too: it’s music. According to researcher Dan Cohen’s 2014 documentary Inside Alive, music helped patients with dementia make incredible strides in terms of their recall, suggesting it can easily do the same for those without memory-loss issues, too.
It’s the go-to fix for successful people: Think you’re the only person who likes to put on a good playlist before getting ready for the day? Think again. Some of the world’s most successful executives can’t get their day going without listening to a few songs first. According to Business Insider, CEOs like Smartbox’s Steve Phillips, Tim Clover of Engagement Innovation, and Janine Allis of Boost Juice all turn to their favorite song to get them going. So, go ahead and crank up that Katy Perry: your brain—and maybe even your boss—will thank you.
Before you buy another podcast or book on productivity, purchase another supposedly brain-boosting supplement, or decide that a meditation retreat is the cure for all that ails you, try putting on your favorite playlist. Music’s proven power to make you smarter, more productive, and more successful—without spending a lot of money on dubious alternatives—should be reason enough to put in those headphones. Add in the happiness you’ll feel when you hear an infectious beat you just can’t help but dance to and you’ve got a prescription for a better life in the palm of your hand.