Study: 78 Minutes of Music a Day Improves Mental Health

The study examined the listening habits of 7,500 people

RADIO.COM’s I’m Listening initiative aims to open conversations around mental health and provide resources for those looking to take care of their mental well-being.

There have been been plenty of studies that prove music improves mental health, but just how much of a daily intake do you need to start reaping the benefits? 78 minutes.

A study by the British Academy of Sound Therapy found that listening to music for that amount of time helps maintain good mental health.

The study examined the listening habits of 7,500 people and how they affected their physical and mental well-being. Music is tied to emotion and researchers say they were able to quantify it with this study. 90% of participants expressed relaxation as an emotional benefit of listening to music. Other emotions participants experienced were happiness (82%), overcoming sadness (47%), concentration (32%), and anger (28%).

“There are certain properties of music that affect the mind and body. Dedicating time each day to listen to music that triggers different emotions can have a hugely beneficial impact on our well-being,” says Lyz Cooper, from the British Academy of Sound Therapy. “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.”

Much like your daily nutritional intake, researchers concocted a similar makeup of music types. Using the "Recommended Daily Allowance" (RDA) as their guide, they broke down both the percentage and time different types of music should make up your daily listening habits. The choice of music is up to the user, it just needs to abide by the following guidelines.

* 14 minutes of uplifting music (user’s choice) to feel happy
(18% of your musical RDA)
* 16 minutes of calming music (user’s choice) to feel relaxed
(20.5% of your music RDA)
* 16 minutes of music (user’s choice) to overcome sadness
(20.5% of your music RDA)
* 15 minutes of motivating music (user’s choice) to aid concentration
(19% of your music RDA)
* 17 minutes of music (user’s choice) to help manage anger
(22% of your music RDA)

If listening to 78 minutes of music seems overwhelming, simplify the process. All you need to do is listen to 3.25 minutes worth of music per hour to fill your daily quota. See, it's doable!

On Wednesday, September 23, RADIO.COM’s special I’m Listening broadcast will return with a two-hour event featuring artists, athletes, and individuals across the nation will come together to discuss the importance of talking about mental health and share their journey.

Details regarding this year’s I’m Listening broadcast will be announced on September 9. Ahead of this year’s broadcast, we’re inviting you to share your story and be a part of this year’s show.

RADIO.COM’s I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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