The power of music as medicine in health and wellness businesses

Music is proven to reduce stress, help you relax, assist with falling asleep, and provide drug-free pain management.

New research provides evidence for the healing power of music as medicine. Apps for relaxation and sleep, digital health, telehealth, focus music websites, and other wellness apps have limitless opportunities to enhance users’ experiences—and even improve their health—through the implementation of specific types of wellness music.

The science behind wellness music

As humans, we intuitively acknowledge the power of music to influence our wellbeing—we choose certain music to energize us, to calm us down, or to cheer us up. Humans have a long history of using music to heal, and now there is new research emerging around the positive impact of music on ailments and healing.

As noted in the New York Times article, “When Music is the Best Medicine,” by Susan Gubar, music therapy is already being effectively used in numerous ways with patients suffering from anxiety, insomnia, depression, cancer, and dementia. [1] As neuroscience and brain research accelerates, there is a growing understanding of music’s impact on the brain, as well as a greater recognition of the vast untapped potential in the use of sound as a healing modality.

The National Institutes for Health has joined with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts on an initiative called Sound Health, with the goal of exploring and researching the interaction of music with the brain and the use of music as medicine. [2]

Read more about the power of music as medicine

Sleep music

Whether it’s calming music for sleep apps or meditation sleep music that you are looking for, we’ve found the best sleep music blends glacial synth-generated soundscapes, soft acoustic pieces, nature sounds, and Eastern influences under the broader umbrella of “relaxing ambient.”

Feed.fm Wellness Images Sleep Music Woman in Bed with Earbud-min

In a research study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, it was found that playing music at the frequency of 432 Hz for daytime napping participants stimulated significantly increased alpha brain wave activity at the onset of sleep as compared with no music. [3]

Additional sleep music research

  • In 2018 research conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Sheffield, 62% of respondents used sleep music. [4]
  • According to another study, adults who listened to 45 minutes of relaxing sleep music reported having better sleep quality beginning on the very first night. [5]
  • Music therapy improves sleep quality in acute and chronic sleep disorders according to a meta-analysis of 10 randomized studies.
  • Researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School found that playing natural sounds affected the autonomic nervous systems, with associated effects in the brain’s resting activity. [6]

Relaxation music research

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Looking for calming background music for businesses like telehealth and e-health, royalty-free relaxing music for wellness apps, or chill hold music for businesses of any kind? The best relaxing music playlists for business music streaming combine a mix of gentle ambient instrumental compositions. Music is a great way to help anyone relax and get into the flow. With the power of music, you can create holistic digital environments that provide clients, patients, and practitioners with a supportive setting to reduce stress and drive better outcomes.

  • A research review by acclaimed neuroscientist Daniel Levitin documented music’s effects on brain chemistry and the associated mental and physical health benefits in mood management and stress reduction. "People who received the music had lower anxiety levels than people who had the drugs and without side effects.” [7]
  • A 2012 Chicago Medical School study found that music has beneficial effects in reducing blood pressure and heart rate in a variety of clinical settings. [8]
  • Another recent study determined that listening to relaxing music alleviated the mental fatigue associated with performing an enduring cognitive-motor task. [9]

Music for focus and productivity

When you’re looking for music to help you focus, the best music for concentration and focus is instrumental. Feed.fm focus music stations encompass chill downtempo tracks, hip-hop styled lo-fi compositions, and bluesy lounge music.

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All selections are gently energizing and upbeat to facilitate flow and concentration. Ambient study music, binaural beats, classical music, and piano focus music are also suitable for concentration and focus applications.

From curated ADHD focus music apps to playlists of instrumental music for studying, music helps students focus too. In a study published in Psychological Research, college students were asked to perform a task while listening to music containing binaural beats in the gamma range. As compared with the control group, who listened to music with a steady frequency of 340 Hz, the members of the experimental group were able to focus more effectively. [10]

More focus music research:

  • In a 2016 study of 5th and 6th graders using a MAYAZ (Music and Fluent Writing) Technique, background music was demonstrated as contributing to pupils' fluent writing skills.[11]
  • A Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience study of older adults showed that background music tended to improve long-term memory and processing speed compared to no music and white noise. [12]
  • A recent Journal of Cognitive Enhancement study found “a pronounced effect of three types of focus music [jazz, piano, and lo-fi] on both cognitive performance and the underlying physiological response.” [13]

Music for pain relief

The use of music for healing is an ancient practice—it’s no coincidence that the Greeks recognized the god Apollo as the patron of both music and medicine.

Research published in Pain Research and Management studying the effect of low-frequency sound stimulation of 40 Hz on patients with pain related to fibromyalgia found that the subjects experienced statistically and clinically significant improvements from the treatments.

In a research study on patients undergoing cataract surgery, it was found that
“Music, both with and without binaural beat, was proven to decrease anxiety level and lower systolic BP (blood pressure)” in subjects before and during surgery, as compared with members of the control group who wore headphones without music for pain management. Additionally, the study noted that “Patients who received binaural beat audio showed additional decrease in heart rate. Binaural beat embedded musical intervention may have benefit over musical intervention alone in decreasing operative anxiety.”

Learn why music is the drug of choice.

Music in digital health

As the evidence grows that music as medicine is a powerful medium for healing, many digital apps and content companies are still trying to figure out how to effectively integrate wellness music into their app experience. Feed Media Group is the leading music streaming solution for brands in the health and wellness category, with proven customer results. Our market-tested wellness music collections will help drive higher customer engagement and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for your business as they delight your users. Music as medicine can be implemented for a wide variety of digital health and wellness business applications, including meditation, sleep, focus, recovery, and relaxation. And—in contrast to virtually all pharmaceutical or invasive medical approaches - there are zero side effects.

 

 

 

With important relevance for streaming music services for commercial use, a study just published in August 2022 found that the relief from acute pain provided by music was enhanced when the subjects were given the impression that they had control over the choice of music. [14]

 

 

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Sources:

1) NY Times: When Music Is the Best Medicine 2) National Institutes of Health: About Sound Health 3) National Library of Medicine: PMC6924256, Effect of music of specific frequency upon the sleep architecture and electroencephalographic pattern of individuals with delayed sleep latency: A daytime nap study 4) National Library of Medicine: PMC6235300, The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports5) National Library of Medicine, Clinical Trial: 15660547, Music improves sleep quality in older adults 6) Science Daily: It's true: The sound of nature helps us relax 7) CBC News: Music as medicine has huge potential, study suggests 8) National Library of Medicine: PMC3860955, Effects of music on systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate: a meta-analysis 9) PLOS Journals: ffects of Relaxing Music on Mental Fatigue Induced by a Continuous Performance Task: Behavioral and ERPs Evidence10) National Library of Medicine: PMC5233742, More attentional focusing through binaural beats: evidence from the global–local task 11) Ingenta: The Contribution of Music to the Fluent Writing Skills: Mayaz Technique 12) Frontiers: The cognitive effects of listening to background music on older adults: processing speed improves with upbeat music, while memory seems to benefit from both upbeat and downbeat music 13) Springer Link: Effects of Three Genres of Focus Music on Heart Rate Variability and Sustained Attention 14) Science Daily: Perceived choice in music listening is linked to pain relief