Beats for better health

What's your favorite song? What artist gets you pumped up? Who do you listen to when you fall asleep?

From Nikki Minaj to Mozart, new research shows the music you love could impact your health. From pop to country and everything in between.

Music can say a lot about a person. New research finds music has more health benefits than you might think. It can relieve anxiety, increase memory, ease pain, relieve depression and fight addiction.

"Music can influence your behavior, the way you think, your emotions," says Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD.

The authors of “Your Playlist can Change your Life” say science shows like sex, drugs or great food, music causes the brain to release chemicals like dopamine that are key to addiction and motivation.

"It's affecting your brain waves and your blood chemistry," explains Joseph Cardillo, PhD, the Author of Author “Your Playlist can Change your Life.”

To build your own healthy playlist, pick your favorite songs. Then figure out how many beats they have per minute.

When you figure out what beats work best in different situations, ingrain them in your memory.

Then make task-oriented playlists. Fewer beats are good for driving; more beats can help you while you exercise or work.

"The psychological principle behind this is if you do it over and over again, your mind will automatically bring up that mindset for that particular task," explains Cardillo.

"Just stared at my ceiling," explains Kevin Hall who uses music therapy to deal with his insomnia.

Kevin focused on his music five minutes a day and after three weeks he was sleeping eight hours a night.

"It's to the point where I don't need the song anymore,” says Hall. “I have it recorded in my brain now."

Solving insomnia and other maladies with the help of music.

As for improving memory, the authors say to choose a song from your distant past.

It will put your brain into remembering mode and prepare your mind to begin memorizing your notes or presentation.

When you need to recall what you learned play the song beforehand and you'll be able to remember it quicker.

Listen up! Beats for better health
REPORT #1930

THE "MOZART EFFECT": Frances Rauscher researched whether or not music had any effect on people's spatio-temporal reasoning abilities by having groups listen to 10 minutes of Mozart's "Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major" and then having them complete a paper folding task. The results showed that listening to the music increased scores by 48% compared to control groups, but the effects lasted only about 10 minutes and music not as highly structured as Mozart's did not have the same effects. This was deemed the "Mozart Effect" and demonstrated how music and sound can affect intelligence as well as other things in humans, positively and negatively.

MUSIC & HEALTH: Music has also shown to have an effect on people's health in several different ways. For one, music can help in recovery. Melodic intonation therapy, which is speaking in a strongly musical manner, has shown to promote recovery from aphasia in stroke patients who had failed to recover spontaneously after a prolonged period, and the same Mozart song used in Rauscher's research proved to reduce seizures in epileptic patients by 65% compared to silence. It can also reduce depression symptoms in home-bound elderly people as well as reduce post-surgical stress and pain. (Source:
RELATIONSHIP TO SOUND: Humans have a complex relationship to sound. Some facts about how music plays a role in people's lives are outlined below:

1. Ancient flutes, one presumed to be the oldest musical instrument in the world, furthers the argument that music ability and interest were present even very early on in human history.
2. Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function.
3. Fetuses begin to develop their auditory system between 17 and 19 weeks, and thanks to the scientist Sheila Woodward in the 1990s we know that not only can be heard inside the womb but fetuses heart rates become slightly elevated, showing a reaction and that they can actually hear the music.
4. Other studies have also found that when a pregnant women listens to music, even through headphones, the fetus can echo the mother's response to the quality of music. Their heart rates lower when the mother's listening to music she finds relaxing and increases when the mother listens to something she finds stressful. (Source:

For More Information, Contact:

Joseph Cardillo, PhD
(528) 629-8595

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