Even in Shakespeare’s time it was recognised that music affects and influences our emotions. We can all probably recall at least one song or melody that evokes an emotional response either remembering a happy occasion or conversely a sad event.
Research has shown that your brain releases dopamine (the feelgood chemical messenger) when listening to music that you like. Apparently listening to your favourite tunes for only 15 minutes can give you an emotional boost.
Further research also indicated that music can lower stress by decreasing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the human body. As stress is responsible for 60% of illnesses and disease this is an important finding.
Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers reported that listening to music before, during and after an operation can help to reduce pain and that this had been effective whilst patients were even under an anaesthetic.