A concert today keeps the doctor away

A concert today keeps the doctor away
Madison Duddy explores how concert going can improve health

 

For many, music is a significant part of their life. The second people start their morning commute, the headphones go in or the car radio is switched on, bringing some fun to an otherwise ordinary morning. One does not have to be a singer, dancer or musician to consider music a valuable part of their life. It can affect people’s emotions, making them happy, sad or excited, while taking them back to a memory when they heard a song for the first time. Music is the sound track to life, changing the way people feel inside and out.

Music is good for more than entertaining someone on their morning commute. It affects people’s overall well-being, especially when performed in a concert setting. A 2018 study by O2, a popular music and entertainment venue, found that through psychometric and heart rate tests during concerts, frequent gig-going can extend one’s life expectancy by nine years. From the physical benefits of pain relief and exercise from dancing during a concert to the mental benefits like stress reduction, reflection, growth in self-worth and a sense of belonging, going to concerts increases well-being by 21% after only 20 minutes at a gig. Another study found from a random sample of 1,000 people that those who immerse themselves in music through dance or concert-going are more satisfied with life than those who do not.

Specifically, studies have shown that listening to music increases one’s pain threshold. Because of this, hospital patients often listen to music before, during and after surgery to help manage pain. The same applies to concert going. When listening to music at a concert, a person’s brain releases endorphins that act as a pain killer.

Attending concerts is also a great source of exercise. If a person includes walking to and from the venue and dancing for a few hours straight, they could get as much exercise as someone who works out on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Also, all the screaming and singing gives the diaphragm a good workout. This is for only one concert too. Imagine the exercise a music festival goer gets after dancing, cheering, singing and walking around extensive festival grounds for a few days straight.

In addition to the physical benefits from concert going, the mental are incomparable. In a world full of constant stressors, a concert can be just what the doctor ordered. A 2016 study by academics at Imperial College London found that going to a concert decreased the release of stress hormones like cortisol in 117 participants. At a concert, surrounded by loud music that shakes the floor, few people stand around thinking about all their overhanging responsibilities. Instead, people get lost in the music and the crowd, singing and dancing along to their favourite songs in sync with hundreds or thousands of people.

In addition to the physical benefits from concert going, the mental are incomparable. In a world full of constant stressors, a concert can be just what the doctor ordered.

However, the sense of community is probably the most powerful natural high at a concert. The awareness of being surrounded by thousands of other people singing the same lyrics from memory along with the artist connects people, reminding them they are not alone but in a world full of others just like them. This collective effervescence has brought people together for centuries, forging strong bonds of brotherhood and community that continue to keep societies together in strength. It’s the same feeling one might experience at a religious ritual or on a nationwide holiday. The sense of connection to people provides one with a positive outlook and longevity.

While at a concert, people have a moment to reflect on their life. Music can be like a time machine, transporting one back to memories associated with the song they are listening to. Thinking about the past allows people to relive moments in their past, remembering times of innocence, happiness, love, sadness, regret and heartbreak. Reconnecting with the past reminds one to take a step back from all the distractions in life and live in the present with joy and gratitude. It can help people to remember that there have been good times in their life and that there are more good times to come. A study on the effects of nostalgia in a 2013 issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that nostalgia not only creates happiness in the present but creates optimism for the future. The researchers had participants listen to specific songs or read lyrics to induce nostalgia. Participants who became nostalgic then conveyed more optimism for the future which leads to feeling more socially connected to others. The increase in social connection then boosts self-esteem which again creates a more optimistic person.

Music can be like a time machine, transporting one back to memories associated with the song they are listening to. Thinking about the past allows people to relive moments in their past

Last but not least, attending concerts gives people a stronger sense of well-being, according to the O2 study. The scope of well-being extends to self-worth, closeness to others, and mental stimulation. Self-worth and closeness to others increased by 25% and mental stimulation by 75%. The O2 study also concluded that those who go to concerts every few weeks are more likely to have a high level of happiness, productivity, self-esteem and contentment.

Self-worth and closeness to others increased by 25% and mental stimulation by 75%.

Well-being ties into someone’s life span, which confirms that people who frequently go to concerts could live longer. Health Affairs published a 2016 study by Yale that measured collective well-being of individuals from different counties, including their physical health, emotional health, healthy behaviours, life evaluation, basic access and work environment. The result was that counties with higher scores of well-being had a higher life expectancy, specifically 1.9 years higher for females and 2.6 higher for males.

Those who go to concerts every few weeks are more likely to have a high level of happiness

If the connection between music, human emotions and well-being can teach people anything, it is that attending concerts is never a waste of time or money. Sometimes, a concert is a perfect, natural cure for one’s physical and emotional pain.

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