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Music has positive effects on mental health

Music improves well-being and quality of life, concludes a recent review of up to 26 studies.
A team of scientists has empirically confirmed that music (listening to it, singing it or dancing to it) is good for our mental health and, by extension, our quality of life.
A review of 26 studies conducted in several countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, concluded that music can provide a clinically significant boost to mental health. Seven of the studies involved music therapy, 10 looked at the effect of listening to music, eight looked at singing, and one looked at the effect of gospel music in general.
A growing number of studies are finding links between music and well-being, But knowing exactly why it works are areas that scientists continue to research, and that's where this particular research can be useful.
The meta-analysis that included the participation of 779 people in total, used the widely adopted and well-regarded 36-item Short Form Physical and Mental Health Survey (SF-36) or the shorter 12-item alternative (SF-12), making it easier to collate and synthesize data.
"Mounting evidence supports music's ability to broadly promote well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL)," the researchers write in their paper published in the journal JAMA Network Open. "However , the magnitude of the positive association of music with HRQoL remains unclear, particularly in relation to established interventions, which limits the inclusion of music interventions in policy and health care."
Examination of the results confirmed that "music interventions are linked to significant improvements in well-being" and the effects were similar whether participants sang, played or listened to music.
"This meta-analysis of 26 studies of music interventions provided clear, quantitative evidence of moderate quality that music interventions are associated with clinically meaningful changes in mental HRQoL," the researchers write. "In addition, a subset of 8 studies demonstrated that adding interventions musicals to treatment as usual was associated with clinically significant changes in mental HRQoL across a variety of conditions."
The authors of the study suggest that the benefit of music for mental quality of life had an effect close to the improvements in mental health similar to that produced for exercise and weight loss.
Future research is needed to clarify optimal musical interventions and dosages for use in specific clinical and public health settings,” the experts conclude.

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