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9 ways music can improve your life - The Week

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Research has learned a great deal about the power of music:

1. Your musical taste does accurately tell me about you, including your politics.

2. Your musical taste is influenced by your parents.

3. You love your favorite song because it's associated with an intense emotional experience in your life.

4. The music you enjoyed when you were 20 you will probably love for the rest of your life.

5. And, yes, rockstars really do live fast and die young.

But enough trivia. It also turns out music affects your behavior — and much more than you might think.

Studies show music can lead you to drink morespend more, be kind, or even act unethically.

But can we really use scientific research on music to improve our lives? Absolutely.

Read more:

1. Music helps you relax

Yes, research shows music is relaxing.

I know, I know, obvious, right? But what you might not know is the type of music that helps people relax best.

Need to chill out? Skip the pop and jazz and head for the classical.

As Richard Wiseman writes:

Blood pressure readings revealed that listening to pop or jazz music had the same restorative effect as total silence. In contrast, those who listened to Pachelbel and Vivaldi relaxed much more quickly, and so their blood pressure dropped back to the normal level in far less time. [59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute]

More things that relieve stress are here.

2. Angry music improves your performance

We usually think of anger as something that's just universally bad. But the emotion has positive uses too.

Anger focuses attention on rewards, increases persistence, makes us feel in control and more optimistic about achieving our goals.

When test subjects listened to angry music while playing video games, they got higher scores.

What Tamir and her colleagues found was that people preferred to listen to the angry music before playing Soldier of Fortune. Faced with a task in which anger might serve a useful function, facilitating the shooting of enemies, participants opted for an anger boost. What's more, listening to the angry music actually improved performance… [The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You)]

More on how to boost productivity here.

Sum up

So music not only says a lot about you, it provides a myriad of easy ways to make your life better:

1. Music can help you relax

2. Angry music improves your performance

3. Music reduces pain

4. Music can give you a better workout

5. Music can help you find love

6. Music can save a life

7. Music can improve your work — sometimes

8. Use music to make you smarter

9. Music can make you a better person

Most importantly: Music makes us feel good, and in the end, that's worth a lot.

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Btw, I love this video:

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