Founder of Xtend Barre, Andrea Rogers, shares the benefits of music to make your life healthier and happier, and easy tips on how you can include it more in daily your life, including a Spotify playlist to use as your life soundtrack!
Quite simply, music is my mantra. It’s the backdrop of my life. It is, in many ways, my lifeblood.
I use music in so many ways … to shift my mood, make an ordinary moment magical, motivate me to take action, support me on a low day, and calm myself at night.
There are so many beautiful benefits of music, the list goes on and on but here are my top three:
Music can lower anxiety and help treat depression
According to Medical News Today, listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression. Music can alter our temperament, lower anxiety, and decrease fatigue. Listen to your favourite tunes, take part in an Xtend Barre class and watch those dopamine levels rise! What amazing gifts!
Music can lead to a sharper brain and better learning
According to this article in Healthline, Doctors at Johns Hopkins recommend that you listen to music to stimulate your brain, “Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,”. Scientists know that listening to music engages the brain — they can see the active areas light up in MRI scans
Music can help you eat less
Soothing music can trigger a relaxation response, which can lower cortisol levels, making it easier to digest food. Music also gives you something to focus on, rather than food, and can slow down the eating process. Studies have shown that classical music, in particular, can help you eat less, digest better and enjoy your food more.
Given these impressive benefits, I encourage you to use the power of music in your life to the fullest.
Below are easy suggestions on how you can invite more music into your life – and the crazy good part is, it’s super simple and fun to do!
1. Wake up to music
Waking to music versus an alarm can potentially help the brain feel more awake and alert. Plus … it’s just BETTER! There are many apps available to assist. Try it for a week and see what you think!
2. Use music to set the tone for your day
Consider the type of music, band or singer that really energises you… makes you want to get up and dance. Make a playlist or do a simple search on Spotify or YouTube for that music and as you shower, have your breakfast, prep for your day, switch it on and let this be your backdrop. This can help set the tone for the whole day.
3. Make music fun!
Long commute with the kids? Try playing the ABC game … go through the alphabet and take turns calling out favourite names of songs or bands for each letter, and then listen to them. Everybody gets their turn to contribute. For example, A could be Adele, B, Beyoncé, and so on. This could expand every family members’ exposure to different music. Plus, it’s fun and engaging!
4. Take music breaks
Most people need an energy boost in the afternoon. I know my kids definitely need breaks from ‘school brain’. So, as a family, we turn on music and dance every day. It helps to refresh and reset our minds, shift the mood and best of all, this joyful family time really connects us.
If you work at home, give yourself music breaks. For every two hours of work, get up, turn on some music, and dance for five minutes, or join us online via our @ Home platform that runs over 40+ Xtend classes a week.
5. Let it MOVE you!
With my dance background, I very much connect music to movement. I have a strong passion for just feeling my body move. Clearly, not everyone has a dance background, but I do believe there is huge merit in uninhibited movement. It makes no difference whether you are a trained dancer or not, close the shades, and feel the music through movement and see what happens!
6. The magic of music before bed
Many studies show that calming, “Zen” music can help you get a better night’s sleep. I don’t know anyone who can’t use better sleep! Find something that puts you in a relaxed state and listen to it for as little as ten minutes before bed and see if it makes a difference for you.
The biggest takeaway here is that music is a completely accessible, thoroughly enjoyable tool you can use in your life to make you happier and healthier.
Have fun with the tremendous gifts of music, and with introducing them into your life in new and different ways. I’ve created a Spotify Playlist to share with you my top 22 songs with mood shifting music – enjoy!