- Listening to enjoyable music increased blood flow by 26%;
- Listening to anxiety-provoking music decreased blood flow by 6%;
- Watching humorous videos increased blood flow by 19%; and
- Listening to relaxation tapes increased blood flow by 11%.
There is one thing that a number of prominent medical research organizations have come to agree upon—that classical music can be used to produce positive healing effects. That led me to ask this question: If classical music heals, then does music that you don’t like actually hurt you? The answer to that question seems to be yes! Organizations such as Mayo Clinic, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Stanford University, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the Cleveland Hospital have all conducted extensive studies on the health benefits of joyful music. The inquiry was based on the now well-known concept originally discovered by Norman Cousins and detailed in his book Anatomy of an Illness, which concluded that joyful experiences create positive health benefits. A study presented at the American Heart Association 2008 Scientific Sessions demonstrated that when you listen to music that you associate with positive emotions, it has a positive effect on reducing your mental stress and also opens up your circulatory system to function better. In fact, the researchers found that when volunteers were measured, their overall cardiovascular system was improved by joyful music. The researchers found that the subjects’ blood flow was affected in the following ways: