Music has a small yet positive impact on heart health, according to a review of recent studies analyzing the relationship between music and changes in the body.
Published in the European Heart Journal, this paper reviewed existing evidence related to music and cardiovascular health. As authors explain, music can have a powerful impact on emotions and mood. Depending on the type of song, music can help energize or calm you, or even provoke memories from the past. It’s no surprise that many studies have explored the effects of music on the heart and overall health.
After reviewing past research, authors found that music is associated with a number of markers of heart health. First, studies suggest that compared to silence, music tends to increase heart rate and speed up breathing. Faster music also speeds up heart rate and breathing more than slower music. One study found that unpleasant music is associated with a decrease in heart rate compared to pleasant music.
Research suggests that music may also improve the health of patients living with heart disease. Past studies have found that not only can music reduce pain and anxiety, it may help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Since depression is common among patients with heart disease, it’s possible that music could help relieve symptoms and improve overall mood.
However, as authors explain, the effects of music on the heart are minor. Compared to well-established factors that impact heart health—like diet and exercise—it’s likely that music doesn’t have a major impact. Still, authors encourage future research on the issue. If music can improve mood or heart function, it may offer yet another way for patients to improve both mental and physical health.