Melissa Bradshaw

New study reveals recommended ‘daily music dose’

3:40, 7th November 2019

A new study carried out by the British Academy of Sound Therapy, commissioned by music streaming service Deezer, has revealed the recommended ‘dose’ of music needed to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Over 7,500 people’s listening habits were analysed in the global study, which looked at the relationship between music and wellbeing. The experiment’s findings showed that in order to feel the emotional benefits of different music styles (whatever your preferred choice of music), you need to listen, on average, to:

  • 14 minutes of uplifting music to feel happy (18% of your musical RDA)
  • 16 minutes of calming music to feel relaxed (20.5% of your musical RDA)
  • 16 minutes of music to overcome sadness (20.5% of your music RDA)
  • 15 minutes of motivating music to aid concentration (19% of your musical RDA)
  • 17 minutes of music to help manage anger (22% of your musical RDA)

Frederic Antelme, VP Content and Productions at Deezer, said: ‘Music influences our lives and at Deezer we try to understand and embrace the relationship that people have with their favourite tunes. Now we’ve been able to go even deeper into that relationship and see how people use music to manage different mental states. It’s a fascinating study.’

The study found that the therapeutic benefits of different styles of music take, on average, 11 minutes to kick in – the only exception being happiness, which participants reported feeling within just five minutes of listening to joyful music.

Pop music was highlighted as most effective in inducing happiness, while classical music most commonly created a state of relaxation, with respondents saying Beethoven’s ‘Fifth Symphony’ was the best song choice for a calm state of mind. A third of respondents reported that rock music helped in processing feelings of anger, while interestingly rock was also found to be an effective genre in bringing calm to participants. Classical music closely followed rock as the second best genre for combatting anger.

‘There are certain properties of music that affect the mind and body,’ comments Lyz Cooper of the British Academy of Sound Therapy. ‘Dedicating time each day to listening to music that triggers different emotions can have a hugely beneficial impact on our wellbeing. Listening to happy songs increases blood flow to areas of the brain associated with reward, and decreases flow to the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with fear.’

Deezer’s music editors have created five bespoke playlists based on the results in order to help users get their musical RDA. They are available to download here.

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