(10/12/12) - What is on your iPod? Your answer could have a big impact on your health, believe it or not! From Dr. Dre to Mozart, new research shows the tunes you love could not only impact your health, but how well you get things done.
Music can relieve anxiety, increase memory, ease pain, relieve depression and fight addiction, says Dr. Galina Mindlin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. "Music can influence your behavior, your thinking, your emotions."
The authors of "Your Playlist Can Change Your Life" say science shows that, as is sex, drugs or great food, music causes the brain to release chemicals like dopamine that are key to addiction and motivation.
"It's affecting your brain waves and your blood chemistry," says on of those authors, Joseph Cardillo, PhD.
To build your own healthy playlist, start by picking your favorite songs. Then figure out how many beats they have per minute. Next, figure out which beats work best in different situations. Then make task-oriented playlists. Hint: fewer beats are good for driving, more beats can help you while you exercise or work.
"The psychological principle behind this is if you do it over and over again, your mind will automatically bring up that mindset for that particular task," Cardillo adds.
Kevin Hall uses a special song to help him beat insomnia that has plagued him since teens, "just stared at my ceiling."
He learned to focus on his music five minutes a day and, after three weeks, he was sleeping eight hours a night. "It's to the point where I don't need the song anymore. I have it recorded in my brain now."
As for improving memory- choose a song from your distant past. It will put your brain into remembering mode and prepare your mind to begin memorizing your notes or presentation. When you need to recall what you learned, play the song beforehand and you'll be able to remember it more quickly.
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