Medical disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am just a man with personal experience and personal research.
Classical music has always been one of the hallmarks of the upper class, the intellectuals, and the conscious. Even today, in a world where sub-par rap and unintelligent lyrics dominate the face of the music industry, there is still a small, but steady group of men and women who listen to classical music; mainly college professors and other artsy types.
But why should you listen to classical music? I will admit that there is a time and a place for everything; listening to Mozart before a workout isn’t the best idea, and neither is listening to death metal when you’re trying to read a book on how to attain happiness.
However, listening to classical music has been shown to have numerous benefits, and thus it is a powerful weapon to add to anyone’s arsenal of self-improvement and biohacking.
1. Lowers blood pressure
Have high blood pressure, but don’t want to start taking diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or beta blockers? Just listen to some classical music. A study conducted by the University of San Diego found that after listening to classical music, listeners had lower blood pressure. If inquiring minds wish to see the study, it can be found here.
This can also be especially useful if one is angry – anger has a very intense physiological effect on the body. It leads to vasoconstriction, or the constriction of the blood vessels, which shoots blood pressure through the roof. So the next time you’re angry at that biased pro-feminist story the media is airing, just pop in some Bach.
2. Relieves chronic pain
Whether your chronic pain is due to a muscle imbalance, osteoporosis, or a pinched nerve, taking opiates or other powerful painkillers on a regular basis are absolutely detrimental to health. So, instead of wrecking your kidneys, toasting your liver, and increasing your risk of depression, just listen to some classical music. A study in the Journal for Advanced Nursing showed that listening to music can help reduce chronic pain. Here is the study.
3. Fights depression
I have harped on prescription antidepressants numerous times, but I’ll do it again. I have tried literally almost every prescription SSRI on the market, and none of them work. All that they did was zombify me; in some cases I couldn’t even function due to so much brain fog.
So, instead of demolishing your serotonin receptors, simply opt for a simpler solution. Listen to classical music. A study conducted at Glasgow University shows that it can help fight depression.
4. Helps you fall asleep
As an insomniac myself, I can appreciate anything that improves the quality and quantity of sleep. Classical music is one of these things. A study conducted by a team of Hungarians found that listening to 45 minutes of music before bedtime helped students from 19 to 28 who reported having problems falling asleep.
Another study conducted by a group of Dutchmen found that by listening to classical music containing the harp, piano, and orchestra, improved relaxation and sleep quality in adults and elders alike.
5. Heightened IQ (The Mozart Effect)
This is perhaps one of the most famous and powerful effects of listening to classical music. It all began when a team of researchers published a study which drew a correlation between listening to Mozart and having a higher IQ. Thus, an industry of products claiming to improve you and your baby’s intelligence (Baby Mozart, anyone?), experienced exponential growth in just a few short years.
The effects are not limited to Mozart, however. A Northumbria University study found that subjects listening to Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” particularly “Spring,” responded to tasks more accurately and faster than the control group; the type of tasks performed indicates that the subjects must have had enhanced alertness and memory.
6. Promotes emotional openness
Shakespeare might be right after all in saying that “If music be the food of love, play on,” as a 2001 study conducted at Southern Methodist University found that listening to classical music heightened emotional awareness and made subjects more forthcoming with their emotions. The same study also found that the emotional language that the subjects used was far richer than the control group’s.
Emotional openness is something that I struggled with for a very long time, but through meditation, working out, listening to good music, and dozens of other esoteric practices, I’ve improved my emotional expressiveness and state at least 30 fold.
7. Helps reduce anxiety
Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety, including me (at one point). However, instead of turning to those little white pills, why not just indulge in some Purcell or Bach? An article published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing in 2008 showcased a study done on pregnant woman. The study found that anxiety, depression, and stress levels were all decreased after listening to a mere 30 minutes of classical music.
On the same topic, a Russian study published in Human Physiology found that children who listened to classical music for just one hour a day over a six month period exhibited brain changes indicative of greater levels of relaxation.
So the next time you’re trying to relax, and you happen upon a feminist news story, just turn it off, turn on some Bach, and unwind.
8. Discourages crime
It is no secret that many criminals are visceral creatures; they operate based off of primal impulses and desires. Thus, it makes sense that certain external stimuli which change your basic biology could thwart crime, does it not?
Well, in 2003 London city officials started playing classical music at several train stations; the results were startling. After just 18 months, robberies had dropped by 30%, assaults on staff by 25%, and vandalism by a whopping 37%. Likewise, Portland implemented a similar strategy in a high-crime rail station; police station calls dropped by a massive 40%.
9. Helps premature babies grow faster
A study done at Tel Aviv University found that exposing prematurely born children to Mozart for 30 minutes a day caused them to grow “far more rapidly.” They are still unsure as to the reason why, however it is postulated that by causing a decrease in stress, the immune system’s capability is boosted. Regardless of the cause, this clearly has enormous application potential all throughout the medical community.
10. Improves visual attention
In one study, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, researchers found that stroke patients who listened to classical music had improved visual attention; the control groups were white noise and silence, both of which were shown to have less of an effect on visual attention than classical music.
Even if you haven’t had a stroke, classical music is sure to help your visual attention, by activating areas in the prefrontal cortex known to increase willpower. Music therapy is already becoming a popular form of treatment for children with ADHD, who have trouble paying attention.
Bonus: Revives culture
You didn’t expect me to write an article completely devoid of rants pertaining to our degenerate culture now, did you? By listening to classical music you are keeping the art of the past alive. We all have our part to do in combating the current age of decline that we live in; I try to do my part by blogging and guest posting on ROK.
And altruistic motives aside, isn’t it simply wonderful to indulge in the music of our great ancestors?
Read More: 5 Reasons To Take Up Classical Music