How Music Can Help to Reduce Stress

Are you feeling a little agitated or stressed? If so, listening to music can help. But how exactly and which music works best?

Multiple studies over the years have shown that there are several health benefits to music. It can lower the production of the stress hormone cortisol and actually increase the production of the happiness hormone serotonin. American Shahram Heshmat, associate professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, explains to Psychology Today how.


Research has shown that listening to slow music with low tones in particular can help people in stressful situations. For example, music with a slow tempo (60-80 bpm), such as meditative music or soft jazz, is often associated with relaxation. "Music with a slow, steady rhythm lowers heart rate and reduces stress," Heshmat said.

According to Heshmat, music that does not involve singing works best. After all, lyrics can cause too many distractions when you want to relax.

Speaking of distractions, listening to music is a good way to shift the focus of your worries to something else. For example, listening to a particular song that you have fond memories of can automatically trigger positive emotions. And, of course, that in turn has a stress-reducing effect.


It may sound cliché, but it is true: music connects. Listening to music together with friends or family (without you having to put in too much effort) creates a connection. Especially if you sing or make music together! "Listening to music together stimulates the production of the happiness hormones endorphins and oxytocin."