Mental Health and Music

During this time of pandemic , we find ourselves and many of our peers facing large amounts of idle time and the question of whether or not to be productive today. The go to solution for many of us is to fill up our day with lots of screen time, and while in our normal lives, this was but a fraction of our daily life, has now ballooned into the main task for many students, be it either online studies for summer school, or indulging in movie/gaming marathons with this newfound freedom. Nevertheless, while people should continue social distancing and thus temporarily living a lifestyle with activities that encourage isolation, it’s important to remember that there are other ways to make ample use of this time, while also improving one’s mental health. According to a study published by Harvard Medical School, practicing an instrument or simply listening to music while engaging in another activity can serve a multitude of purposes, such as helping students focus better through what is known as the Mozart effect, where the cognitive functions become more stimulated as one listens to music, or simply help relieving stress, as the vibrations travel through our ears and activate the auditory nerves which help inducing relaxation. In general, the practical benefits extend further from simply giving one’s eyes rest from hours of staring at a screen, but to also helping the body moderate cortisol levels and other forms of stress, which right now during this time of uncertainty is essential to maintaining one’s mental health.

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