COVID-19 and Music: More than survival
The world’s population is being devasted by the pandemic, and by rules, laws, panic, and mandates. But there’s hope.
Dr. Philip Maffetone
Sickness and death are only part of the pandemic. Political and social responses have been inducing pain and fear, and triggering massive global physical, biochemical, and mental-emotional stress. This further impairs the health and immunity of huge numbers of people. In the U.S. alone, about half the adults gained weight in the first year of the pandemic—an average of 29 pounds!
My previous scientific publications and other articles have highlighted these and other health factors about the predictable and preventable COVID-19 pandemic, and how to deal with it more successfully. This addendum offers a single, simple but powerful remedy for people: Music.
One of the best coping strategies that encourages adaptation to all types of stress is music. It’s well known clinically, scientifically, and a strategy used by humans from the beginning. A primary reason for these benefits is that music helps our brain-body self-healing mechanism (called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). A covid-era study showed how music improves life, and that TV worsens it. So, trade one for the other!
It’s relatively simple: first provide a healthy stimulus—music. It goes beyond enjoyment as wonderful things can also happen to our health such as a better brain, body, including immunity.
Which music works best? The sounds you love the most. Old songs and new ones are particularly great, especially music that triggers wonderful memories. Here are two of my songs that wake up the brain’s powerful alpha waves:
In addition to the sensory power of listening, an added brain boost is watching a music video; and another is dancing. So…see, hear, and dance to my Secret Lover video!
Music is to the brain as healthy food is to the body. Do them daily (while avoiding junk music and junk food)!
The hope is not just that we survive—we want to thrive! The lessons for many are that a healthier brain and body have always been available to protect us. Music can help us enjoy and endure.
Vidas D, et al. Music Listening as a Strategy for Managing COVID-19 Stress in First-Year University Students. Front Psychol, 2021. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647065.