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Does music have well-being benefits for us?

With our crazy-busy schedules right now, whether we’re parents, workers, students, entrepreneurs or carers, that bit of quiet time to ourselves seems more important than ever. There’s always something to do or worry about in our everyday lives and that opportunity to stop, relax and have a bit of 'me-time' is really encouraged for our overall well-being.

I don't know about you but I find the best way to relax and feel better seems to be by listening to my favourite music. Some of our loved ones are actually forced to spend lots of time alone and certainly seem to relax and have a lift in their spirits too when they're listening to their old favourite songs.

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We’re not alone in thinking this it seems and we’ve found quite a few supporting studies and articles about the benefits of music for our health and well-being. An interesting study was carried out by the University of California’s Berkeley ‘Greater Good Science Center’, which studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being. Their neuroscientists claim to have discovered several ways that music seems to impact our health and suggest that it can be more powerful than meditation. Here are a few of their findings.

Reducing stress and anxiety?

The article cites several clinical studies showing that listening to music - certainly music with a slow tempo and low pitch, without loud instrumentation or lyrics - can calm people down, even during really painful or stressful events.  These studies say that "music can prevent anxiety-induced increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure, and decrease cortisol levels—all biological markers of stress". I know that listening to soothing music certainly calms and relaxes me when I need it.

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Decreasing pain?

The piece finds research that shows examples of people undergoing operations, going through child birth and with painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, express the benefits of listening to music in easing their pain somewhat.  The studies don't make it clear why music may help in pain relief but indicate that the release of dopamine and stress reduction may contribute to music having analgesic properties.

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May aid memory?

We’ve definitely heard of the benefits of our elderly loved ones listening to music that brings back lovely memories of happy times. The article states that many care organisations and one dedicated music and memory company Music and Memory believe that playing personalised music can help with dopamine release which is tied to motivation, which in turn is implicated in learning and memory. I know that hearing tracks from my youth can definitely stimulate old and happy memories from those days.

Of course how music makes you feel and act is completely personal but we were inspired to collate a few of our stylish music systems, that may be gift ideas for that loved one who needs a bit of me-time in their room or indeed who spends quite a bit of time alone.

Blog-12---MCA-230The Denver MCA-230 CD micro system, in glossy black at £31.99 +P&P, is a great little companion with it’s FM radio, MP3 aux-in, alarm clock, remote and headphone jack. You can programme up to 20 favourite tracks on repeat and in any order and even connect to a record player or TV.

Blog-12-CRB-619-brown-Another suggestion is the Denver CRB – 619 retro alarm clock, at £24.99 +P&P and with MP3 or phone connection and FM radio. The vintage style with retro chrome dials, really takes you back in time and you can choose between the black and brown colour options.

Blog-12---CRB-619-We’ve written about the popularity of these vintage record players a couple of times now, but the VPL-120 portable turntable is proving a really popular gift for loved ones to use in any room. The vintage style suitcase with built in speakers comes with a triple speed option, allowing you to play singles, albums and even the old 78 rpm records. With a headphone jack and line-out socket, you can also connect to a PC and record your records on to MP3 or WAV files. Coming in black, red, brown and light blue options, it's a neat little gift for anyone to relax to their favourite records.

Denver-BROWN-Happy listening from the team at 3wisemonkeys

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