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Study: 78 minutes of music a day aids wellbeing

A new study into the therapeutic benefits of music has recommended listening to a minimum of 78 minutes of music a day, in order to maintain a healthy mind and body.

Conducted by the British Academy of Sound Therapy (Bast) and music streaming platform Deezer, the study analysed how people use music to process emotions.

Of the over 7,500 people studied, 90% said they use music to help them relax and 82% listen to music to feel happy. Almost half of respondents saw music as a way of overcoming sadness, with 28% also using music as a way to manage anger. A third of participants found music enhances their levels of concentration.

The study found that the therapeutic benefits of music become evident after 11 minutes of listening. In the case of happiness, listeners need only wait five minutes to reap the emotional rewards of a song.

“Dedicating time each day to listen to music that triggers different emotions can have a hugely beneficial impact on our wellbeing,” comments Bast founder Lyz Cooper. “Listening to happy songs increases blood flow to areas of the brain associated with reward, and decreases flow to the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with fear.”

The Bast- and Deezer-led study found that pop music was most likely to induce feeling of happiness, with songs by Pharrell Williams (‘Happy’), Ariana Grande (‘God is a woman’), Ed Sheeran (‘Sing’) and Little Mix (‘Salute’), as well as classics by Abba (‘Dancing Queen’), Bob Marley (‘Jammin’) and Queen (‘Don’t Stop Me Now’) favoured by respondents.

“Dedicating time each day to listen to music that triggers different emotions can have a hugely beneficial impact on our wellbeing”

Classical music by Beethoven, Pachelbel, Mozart and Bocelli was deemed the most relaxing and the best for concentration. Songs by Simon and Garfunkel, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac also slipped into the relaxation category, with Pink and Jean-Michel Jarre featuring on the best-for-concentration list.

Rock and metal were the genres of choice for listeners wishing to combat anger, with tracks by AC/DC (‘Highway to Hell’), Rammstein (‘Du Hast’), Metallica (‘Enter Sandman’), Linkin Park (In the End’) and Nirvana (‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’) named by participants.

Elton John, Bon Jovi, Bob Marley, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Cash, Queen, Whitney Houston and Leonard Cohen were found to be the favourite artists for listeners overcoming sadness.

“Music influences our lives and at Deezer we try to understand and embrace the relationship that people have with their favourite tunes,” says Frederic Anteime, vice president of content and productions at Deezer.

“Now we’ve been able to go even deeper into that relationship and see how people use music to manage different mental states. The results offer an idea for how music can be used to manage our emotional and mental health on a daily basis, especially when you have a wide library at your fingertips.”

Deezer has created five playlists based on the results of the study with the recommended breakdown of different music style and genres for a ‘balanced’ musical intake.


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Rollin’ all over the world

… Adam Woods talks to those at the sharp end of the travel and transport sector

Virtually every business sector has a knock-out reason why the British public shouldn’t have voted for Brexit, but it’s hard to imagine any with better arguments than the live music transport business. For some, a departure from the EU might herald a blessed release from the tyranny of European law. For those in the touring game, it is likely to mean all the same laws, accompanied by a whole new barrage of outsider hassle.

2016 is turning out to be a good year for the bus companies, air charter brokers, visa experts and travel agents of this world

British artists will still visit Europe, of course, and UK transport companies will presumably assist them, but their new touring experience may or may not include: fresh queues at customs; mind-boggling delays at Dover; visa and immigration implications at airports across the continent; new restrictions on market access for British-registered charter jets and buses; plus any number of other administrative and legislative sour grapes.

But in other respects, 2016 is turning out to be a good year for the bus companies, air charter brokers, visa experts and travel agents of this world, buoyed by another busy round of global touring, and intensified, no doubt, by the prospect of tougher and trickier times ahead.


Read the rest of this feature in issue 67 of IQ Magazine.

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