The Effects of Relaxing Classical Music on the Body and Brain

Music has been used as a form of entertainment throughout history but did you know that it can also be used to improve brain function and relaxation?

Classical music and relaxation go hand in hand; the soft sounds from string instruments are both beautiful to listen to and calming. While studies have been done on the effects of listening to music on the human psyche, there is something in particular about classical music that relaxes and “heals” the body.

Classical Music and the Brain

Why is that? Anyone who listens to music knows that it puts you in a good mood, especially when it’s your favorite music. Yet, it’s the structure and slow tunes of most classical music, specifically, that creates a calming effect on the listener. This is due to the release of dopamine which is the body’s natural happy chemical that improves a person’s mood, and also blocks the release of stress. When you’re happy, you’re less stressed, and vice versa. There are a variety of activities that release dopamine and listening to classical music is one of them.

Aside from improving a person’s mood and helping them to relax, there are a wide range of benefits from listening to classical music that affect all ages, and all stages of life, from babies to the elderly. Such beneficial effects include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced stress
  • Better memory
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Higher emotional intelligence

Listening to classical music can have these effects and more, but it’s important to choose the right music, especially when it comes to relaxation. You wouldn’t want to choose classical music that is loud and blaring and relies on brass instruments.

Since classical music form is usually associated with the Classical Period in Western history and the composer Mozart, many guides suggest listening to Mozart for the benefits of classical music and relaxation (more on that below), but any classical music piece can do. Classical music forms from non-European countries, like China, can be just as relaxing due to the similarities in sound and music, and even modern classical music with similar structures and patterns can be found playing softly in many spas.

The Mozart Effect

Are you familiar with the parenting technique of playing classical music to help a baby sleep? Studies show that classical music helps calm babies down, and some parents believe it even makes the baby smarter. This last idea is known as The Mozart Effect, popularized by a 1993 study in which researchers analyzed students listening to classical music before some tests. The researchers found that the students performed better when answering questions after listening to classical music.

While the Mozart Effect doesn’t make you permanently smarter, it does make you more relaxed, and therefore able to tackle a task with confidence. The calming effect of classical music takes away any jitters or nervousness, and can help to decrease your heart rate and anxiety. The Mozart Effect relies on listening to classical music while performing a task, which helps to focus on the task at hand and improve memory retention.

How does classical music help with relaxation? Many say that the melodic harmonies are soothing, which in turn has positive effects on the brain. Because classical music is similar to lullabies, it also helps with sleep, causing the listener to go to sleep faster. Classical music and relaxation is almost like a form of meditation, due to all these positive effects, and can even make someone more empathetic and emotionally intelligent, because their body and mind is at peace.

Classical Music at AIRE Ancient Baths

Classical music might not be the first thing you think of when headed to a spa. But at AIRE Ancient Baths, we aim to offer relaxation on all levels for guests. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Dub Sutra Group, who have created relaxing and ambient songs to play in all AIRE centers. The worldly, classical-inspired music is played throughout AIRE centers to complete the ambiance, but also to provide further relaxation.

The music paired with a massage session or an AIRE Thermal Bath experience will guarantee the ultimate relaxation experience as visitors can close their eyes, listen to the music, and enjoy the luxurious sensations and sounds around them.