Stress Management Management Techniques How to Use Music for Stress Relief By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD Twitter Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 27, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Medically reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print FrancescoCorticchia/ Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents When Getting Ready During a Commute Cooking While Eating Cleaning When Paying Bills Before Bed Music can affect the body in many health-promoting ways, which is the basis for a growing field known as music therapy. However, you can use music in your daily life and achieve many stress relief benefits on your own. One of the great benefits of music as a stress reliever is that it can be used while you conduct your regular activities so it really doesn’t take time away from your busy schedule. Music provides a wonderful backdrop for your life and you can find increased enjoyment from what you’re doing while reducing stress from your day. Put together a custom playlist for each of these activities and you may soon notice a significant decrease in stress. When Getting Ready in the Morning You can wake yourself up with music and start your day feeling great. By selecting the right music, you can set the tone for a lower-stress day. Classical or instrumental music can help you wake up while keeping you calm and focused. If you have a big, busy day ahead that requires extra energy, try something that's upbeat and makes you want to dance and smile. During a Commute Put an end to road rage by playing your favorite music in the car. It can relieve some of the tension you feel from the commute itself and the day so far.It can help you feel less like you’re wasting time in traffic and more like you’re having some nice time to yourself.It can take your mind off of all that you need to get done once you reach your destination. You will arrive less stressed and more prepared to take on what awaits you. Try switching to a classical station when you are really stressed out. The soothing rhythms and sounds can calm you down and make your commute smoother. Cooking Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and it can actually keep your stress level down. Eating at home is a great way to ensure healthy meals and less expensive, but many people find themselves too tired to cook once they get home. If you put on some smooth jazz or a similar genre of music that you enjoy, cooking becomes a fun activity rather than a chore. You will likely find yourself relaxed and in a better frame of mind once dinner starts, which can enable you to savor your dinner and your company as you eat. While Eating Music can also be a helper as you’re eating your meal. Soothing music can trigger the relaxation response, which can lower cortisol levels, making it easier to digest food. Studies have shown that classical music, in particular, can help you eat less, digest better and enjoy your food more. Cleaning Keeping a simple, organized home can really help to cut down on your stress level, but cleaning itself is a chore that many busy people don’t have the energy to face after a long day. However, if you throw on some energetic music (hip-hop or pop, for example) you can raise your energy level and have fun as you clean. If you tell yourself that you only need to clean for a certain amount of songs and then you can be done, you may work more efficiently. Who knows, you may even come to look forward to doing the job. When Paying Bills We all need to pay bills, but the job doesn’t always take a high degree of concentration. Playing music while you write your checks can help take your mind off of financial stress you may be feeling and make the task more enjoyable. Before Bed Getting enough sleep is important for proper functioning, and getting enough sleep can help you handle stress better. Unfortunately, stress can also interfere with sleep in several ways. Playing music as you drift off is one way to counteract the effects of stress by taking your mind off what’s stressing you. Music can help slow down your breathing and soothing your mind. 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Christopher C. Novak, Joseph La Lopa & Robert E. Novak (2010) Effects of Sound Pressure Levels and Sensitivity to Noise on Mood and Behavioral Intent in a Controlled Fine Dining Restaurant Environment. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, 8:4, 191-218, DOI: 10.1080/15428052.2010.535756 By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. 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