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Music has a Special Role to Play During Quarantine: Keeping us Sane

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

We all know that music changes the way we feel. We have favorite songs that make us feel better, get us moving, or help us through our work out. Most of us even have a special song, album, or playlist that we go to when we want to be sad and alone.

Music allows people to communicate on a deeper level. The right mix of words and sounds resonates with us.

However, in these strange times, our routines have changed. There is evidence that we are listening to music less, at least as measured by use of streaming services. Perhaps we are seeking news and current information more than usual. Or maybe Netflix is replacing Spotify during a time when we have less to do, and our entertainment can occupy our eyes and ears together.

However, we should not forget the special role that music plays in our health and well-being.


Music has a special place in our body

Humans respond in a variety of ways to music. We know that it impacts our moods, but the results are even deeper than that.

We respond physiologically to music. It has been shown to impact our heart rate, our blood pressure, and to reduce other measurable symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.

It is so powerful that an entire branch of education and psychology is dedicated to using music as therapy for host of physical and emotional needs.

Music therapy is recognized as its own profession, with only certain colleges or universities in each state licensed to offer it as a professional certificate.


Music reduces anxiety and stress

Research shows the ability of music to improve the lives of people with severe psychological disorders like schizophrenia, or diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

It can help people recover from acquired brain injury and even autism spectrum disorders.

Of course, most of us probably do not currently have these disorders or illnesses. The help we need is likely less structured.

But we do need the help that music can offer.

Music helps us feel connected with each other. It prompts us to move and to feel. It helps us recall people, places, and events in our lives, essentially taking us on guided mental field trips out of our isolation and loneliness.

Making some time in your day to listen to music will definitely boost your mood.

But how and when is best for you?

beard man holding cassette lying on blue and violet linen
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Plan your music listening to get the full impact

Answer these simple questions to add music to your day.

  1. Examine your daily schedule. When can you be listening to music?
  2. Does your schedule include a workout, or a walk? This is a great time for active, loud music that invigorates you, and music that is new to you.
  3. What are you listening to when you cook? This is a great time for music that you know well, so you can focus on measuring, timing, and other details, but still sing along.
  4. Are you able to listen while you work? Spotify and other streaming services offer concentration playlists that include orchestral music, techno music, or other beats and vibes that can fade in the background when you need to concentrate.
  5. What has replaced your commute? Or what other times did you used to listen to music? Where can you squeeze that back in?
  6. Instead of going out to a concert, why not stay in to a concert? Chances are that your favorite artists have already created a live stream from their living rooms. Schedule an evening to have a private, one-of-a-kind experience with this artist that is unlike anything that was possible before coronavirus.
  7. When was the last time you listened to a new artist – a whole album? This is a great time to go beyond the popular songs and dig deep into an artist’s catalog. Find gems you might never have heard before.


Music breaks the monotony of isolation

It is common to feel trapped and restless in our shelter-at-home world.

Just as we can visually break up our day by working in different parts of the house, or scheduling meetings, reading, and working for the times that best fit our work styles, we can use music to audially break up our day.

Sending the right audio signals to our brain can help us segment our days. This added dimension of change or “newness” throughout the day can help us figure out what day it is, or to better measure our hours.


Of course, music can’t do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone.

Sakina Issa is a trained therapist who can help you manage the stress of life during quarantine.

Whether you are struggling with managing your children, or interacting with your siblings, or just having trouble managing your daily goals and expectations, help is only a phone call away. Press the “book now” button to set up a phone consultation today.

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