Dr. Bumberry: Music can improve your health

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.: Music can help improve your health. 

Dr. Barbara Bumberry, a physician at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, explains that music can stimulate different brain parts. 

She says listening to music can alter our mood. It can help us remember happy times when we are feeling down or depressed.

When listening to music when you exercise, upbeat music can boost motivation and make you feel less tired and decrease your sense of exertion.

Music can also help decrease stress. She explains listening to music produces a calming effect by simulating the body’s pleasure region, which causes to release of “feel good” chemicals. Music can even ease the stress of surgery and office procedures. 

Dr. Bumberry says the right kind of noise can also help improve sleep. She says waking up to pleasant songs can decrease morning grogginess and increase alertness. And ambient background noise can help individuals fall asleep. 

That same ambient background noise can help improve concentration. For example, Dr. Bumberry says college students study better when listening to ambient noise because it activates areas in the brain responsible for analytic thinking and creativity. Music can help increase the brain’s ability to absorb and retain information.

Music can also have positive effects on memory and help Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Bumberry says they may be able to remember songs and lyrics or play an instrument but not the names of grandkids. So, putting instructions to musical tunes can help with the retention of information. Music, she says, can be an excellent way to help connect Alzheimer’s patients to loved ones. 

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