Medical Mysteries of Music

Going to Concerts and Dancing is Good for You. Science Says So.

Can going to a concert and dancing be good for you? Yes, according to science.

New psychological research at the University of Deakin Australia involving 1,000 people dealt with “habitual music engagement” and “subjective well-being” found that there was a correlation between the two.

From the paper:

Experiencing and engaging with music have been fundamental to all societies across the ages. This study explores the connection between habitual music engagement and subjective wellbeing. Subjective wellbeing (SWB) comprises individual evaluations of life satisfaction and is internationally regarded at policy and government levels.

The present study uses data gathered in 2014 as part of the 31st survey of the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index to provide insight into the relationship between music engagement and SWB. A stratified random sample of 1,000 participants was interviewed via telephone.

The findings revealed that engaging with music by dancing or attending musical events was associated with higher SWB than for those who did not engage with music in these forms. The findings also emphasised the important role of engaging with music in the company of others with regard to SWB, highlighting an interpersonal feature of music.

The study provides an overview of the general relationship between music and SWB at a population level, by contrast to most research in the area that has focused on evaluating clinical interventions involving music. The insight gained from these findings can be used to inform future interventions and to better understand how music is involved in emotional regulation.

Translation: People who went out to enjoy music seem to be much happier who stay home. Now it’s up to the boffins in the white coats to find something useful and therapeutic to do with this information.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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