Music impacts mental health

By Valerie Valdez
Pulse Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy Ed Uthman

Music can have a positive, lasting impact on someone’s mentality. It can help with memory and help with improving one’s day. People often associate good or bad memories with a song. When you associate a memory to a song, you will most likely remember that memory over others. 

Sophomore Norma Lozano, Education major at Palo Alto College, said, “‘Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty always brings back a memory I have with my family when we would go to Splashtown, and it would seem like every time I went into the lazy river that song would be playing, so it triggers really good memories.”

According to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, “People who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks.”

People often do not want to just listen to happy music when they are trying to be happy again. They want to listen to songs that they can relate to and songs that don’t make them feel alone in their struggles.

“It feels like the writers are talking to me, they can relate to me. It makes me feel less alone,” said Jada Hernandez, another Education major at Palo Alto College.

When listening to sad music, the body often releases dopamine, which is a chemical associated with reward and memory.

“Music has been such an integral part of my life that I couldn’t think of how I’d be without it,” said Calliope Izquierdo, a member of Palo Alto College’s Jazz Band.

The question is not whether happy or sad music is better for your mental health because studies show how beneficial they both can be. The real question is how important music is for your mental health, how it can affect someone positively or negatively, and how much of an impact it can have in someone’s life.

Music can benefit someone by relieving stress while also lessening the symptoms of depression. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Some options include music therapy, which incorporate listening, creating, singing or dancing to music. These outlets have proven to be effective in increasing motivation, providing emotional support and providing a way to express oneself.

Music as a whole can have many positive benefits on the human psyche. It can help improve memory, relieve stress, lessen symptoms of depression and improve physical or mental health.

Studies have shown if someone were to listen to music while recovering from an injury, they will recover faster than those who are not listening to music. Music also assists in keeping those who exercise motivated.

Though music can have various beneficial outcomes, it is not the only resource you may use. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental or emotional health issues call 1-800-273-8255. Visit PAC’s Counseling Center at the S.H.A.R.E. Center, Student Center, Room 101, or call (210)-486-3750 to schedule an appointment with a counselor. Services are provided at no cost for students and staff.

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