When I’m sad or feeling low in energy, I’ve found that the fastest way to pick myself up is to play some of my favorite music. For me, it is Chicago’s “Make Me Smile,” or Blood Sweat and Tears’ “You’ve Made Me so Very Happy,” but for others, it may be Mozart, or Johnny Cash, or even a favorite Broadway musical. The key is to listen to the music that one loves and music that brings one back to special memories.
The power and healing qualities of music and sound have been known for eons. It starts out with John 1:1 in the Bible, “In the beginning was the Word.” Many indigenous people believe that the earth was created by the song of God. They believe that all creatures are made of sound, rhythm and harmony. Not only that, Edgar Cayce predicted that Sound would become the medicine of the future. According to San-Diego based sound healer, Teri Wilder, “Sound is the original medicine… This is the medicine that came before pills and machines.”
Science is corroborating this long-held belief system. Music touches so many more parts of the brain than just the hippocampus. According to Harvard neurologist, Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, the different components of music, such as the pitch, harmony, rhythm, and emotion, connect with many different parts of the brain that relate to memory, speech and movement. This allows it to get through a backdoor of the brain to trigger a reaction, when a disease or trauma breaks down some cognitive functions.
Amazingly, listening to and performing music brings us back! It reactivates so many parts of our brain, such as, speech, emotion, memory, reasoning and reward.