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The Power of Music and Dance

Whitney Emrick

Happy African American having fun together indoorsMost of us love music and find ourselves singing or dancing along when our old favorite songs come through our radios. Almost everyone can think of times music and dance has positively impacted their lives. It can send shivers down your spine, bring you to tears or transcend you back to a specific time in your life. Music and dance can lift our spirits and give us joy, but have you ever thought about using it as a way to reduce stress and improve behavior? Can it be used to support your mental wellness? Well the science is out… Yes, it absolutely can!

According to Neuroscientist Alan Harvey, it has the power to lower blood pressure, slow down the heart rate and release hormones. When we listen to music it activates our limbic system; this is responsible for learning, memory and emotional responses. This helps explain why there is such an emotional reaction when listening to music. It can also help with pain reduction. A study from the University of Alberta found patients who listened to relaxing music while getting an IV reported significantly less pain, compared with patients who did not listen to music.

Throughout time humans have used music and dance to communicate, connect or express emotions. It has been a universal love in every culture and period of time. Music has helped create major social change and can be used as a platform to empower others. It is also an important aspect of almost all religions, as a way to give praise or feel connected to your faith. The word universe can be translated to mean, uni-one, verse-song.

With music, comes dance… There are health benefits to dance that are similar to the research on music. Dopamine, serotonin and other feel-good chemicals are riding through your body as you listen to music and dance. When you combine music and dance, the two hemispheres of your brain “talk” to each other, creating new neural connections. That is right…. you can improve brain health while getting your twist and shout on! Not only will you improve your cognitive functioning, but it also releases stored up energy and a great way to let go of emotions. Need some inspiration before you bust a move?

Here are 20 Happy Songs To Make You Smile — Best Feel-Good Songs to help you move and groove!

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