The Magic of Music for Wellness
Music therapy can provide numerous benefits for cognitive and mental well being—especially when combined with steam therapy. Here’s how to make the power of music part of your wellness routine.
“He who sings scares away his woes.” – Miguel de Cervantes
Cervantes, author of canonical novel Don Quixote, knew centuries ago what science has proven today: Music heals.
It’s a good thing, too, that music, in its many forms, is so widely accessible, because everyone could use a bit of music’s healing power—especially for mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year;
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year;
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
Even those who don’t suffer serious mental health issues have difficulty managing stress and depression. According to a survey by Gallup, the problem of stress in America is getting worse, with 55% of Americans saying they “experienced stress during a lot of the day, nearly half (45%) said they felt worried a lot, and more than one in five (22%) said they felt anger a lot.” Of those who feel stressed, the majority were in the 18-49 age group. Most of our stress is work-related. Human resources experts say that 94% of American and U.K. workers reported high work-related stress.
If stress isn’t enough to plague our mental well-being, anxiety and depression are also on the rise. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that 40 million American adults suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Depression, which is often exacerbated by anxiety, is even more prevalent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with over 300 million suffering from some version of the illness. With one in six Americans taking some form of psychiatric drug, it’s important for people to find other ways to improve their mental health that are less invasive and costly.
It’s no secret that many people cite mental well-being as a primary wellness objective. This is especially true of Millennials and Generation Z. A survey from Mind Share found that “half of Millennials and 75% of Gen-Zers have quit jobs for mental health reasons.” And Pew Research reports that 70% of teenagers say mental health is a top concern.
These statistics may seem bleak, but it should be a call to action. Creating habits that lead to improved mental health should be a top priority for everyone. And it just so happens that music has emerged as part of an effective overall wellness strategy to help manage stress while reducing anxiety and depression.
Further advancing the value of music as a mental health treatment is enhancing its power by combining it with other effective therapies. One of those is steam therapy. Home steam units that offer installations that stream music into your steam room create a powerful synergy that helps with stress management and mood enhancement.
First, let’s see what the research says about music and mental health.
A Symphony of Benefits
While science has determined that certain types of music exert specific benefits, the general consensus on music therapy’s ability to help improve cognitive health is undeniable. And some research has found that music can help enhance neurological function as well. Here are a few examples.
- Music helps reduce depression. One meta-analysis found multiple studies showing that music measurably reduced the symptoms of depression in study subjects.
- Music helps relieve stress and anxiety. A study from Mindlab found that music can reduce anxiety and stress by 65%.
- Music helps reduce pain response. Research from the University of Utah Pain Research Center found that music helped alleviate pain symptoms and anxiety about pain in human subjects.
- Music helps reduce symptoms from Parkinson’s Disease. A study from the Center for Neurorehabilitation Research at Colorado State University found that certain musical patterns helped improve movement and speech motor control of Parkinson’s suffers.
- Music helps relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Research shows that music therapy helps reduce cognitive decline and improve neuropsychiatric symptoms in those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Music doesn’t only help with cognitive disease and psychiatric disorders, it can help improve neurological health and mental performance in healthy subjects. Researchers have found that music can help improve processing speed in the brain. And a Berkeley study found that music therapy can help boost creativity.
These are just some of the studies backing up the efficacy of music therapy. But this should be enough for you to be more proactive in applying music in service of a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle.
But what you may be wondering is what kind of music is best for therapeutic purposes? This is up to the individual, but research has shown that “relaxing music,” such as classical music, light jazz, ambient/new age music, and other softer, melodic forms of music provide the most benefits. In general, you should know what kinds of music are most beneficial for you and compile a digital folder of your favorites.
MrSteam Is Playing Your Song
What’s really exciting about music therapy is how it can be augmented by other types of proven wellness treatments. And one of those is steam therapy. Steam rooms that offer sound installations that stream music into your steam bath may have a synergistically powerful effect.
MrSteam offers carefully curated MusicTherapy for their residential and commercial steam rooms via their AudioSteam3 and Audio@Home options. The company offers a variety of speakers that you can connect via Bluetooth to your own smartphone or tablet device. You can also get a built-in FM radio that can be controlled through MrSteam’s iSteam3 control. This gives you a number of options to find the ideal music for your mood and condition.
As you would expect, MrSteam keeps an eye on design and optics as well. You’ll be able to choose the speaker style and color that best matches your bathroom’s décor. The speakers have a peak output of 60 watts while providing deep, throbbing bass notes and crystal clear mids and highs for you audiophiles out there. And the steam systems are easy to install with standard speaker wire.
MrSteam makes it easy to enhance the effects of music therapy with other wellness treatments, including Aromatherapy and ChromaTherapy. The AromaSteam system includes a cutting-edge injector pump that distributes the ideal dose of healing essential oils into your steam experience. And MrSteam’s ChromaSteam’s light therapy installations will provide scientifically researched lighting effects that bring a new dimension to augmented wellness treatments.
All of these features combined are in MrSteam’s iDream Package, which gives you steam, aroma, lights, and music in a single offering. This provides a complete wellness experience in addition to the already great benefits delivered by steam therapy itself.
Whatever role music therapy plays in your life, you can enhance its effects through MrSteam’s residential home steam units. And it’s easier and more affordable than you may think. Just check out a few case studies or visit a dealer showroom and see how easy it is to create a musical wellness retreat in your own residence.