Music: The Ultimate Stress Reliever
Happy? Music. Sad? Music. Angry? Music. If you didn't get it yet, the answer is always music.
Whether it's a Spotify top-ten hit or a student musician strumming a guitar, music has the ability to put even the most stressed minds at ease.
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As college students, we all have a particular outlet that we turn to in times of stress. For some, it could be taking a lake walk or spending time with good friends. For others, it could be something as simple as putting in headphones and getting lost in music.
As proven by a study performed by the American Psychological Association (APA), music can serve as societal medicine, given it treats pain and reduces one’s stress levels in comparable ways to actual medication. In fact, in a separate study listening to music was “found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery” (Novotney, APA).
But I don’t need to cite studies for you to understand the power of music — at one point or another, we’ve all felt the impact of an incredible timed song. Especially given the current campus climate where a lack of spring break has made stress-relieving outlets potentially hard to come by. Music is something that connects us all to a feeling of peace.
For example, Mac Miller seems to be a popular “feelings” artist on campus, in the sense that his music caters to a wide variety of listeners and moods. His production is best defined as rap music intertwined with various instrumental sounds – guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, etc. This creates a smooth sort of sound, creating a further activation in one’s brain to release dopamine and increase pleasure, decreasing anxiety levels.
For me, each of his albums triggers a different emotion in my brainwaves. I listen to “K.I.D.S.” when I am in a better mood. As I sing it in the car with friends with my windows down, I feel an immediate endorphin rush. However, I listen to “Swimming” when I need to calm down, or when I’m just down in general.
If Mac Miller’s sound doesn’t resonate with you in the same way, check out some Furman musicians the next time you’re craving a music escape. The music department recently uploaded several student performances and recitals on its YouTube for those who are more interested in classical music, which you can check out here. For those who don’t vibe with classical music, check out Miles Baker on bass guitar for the KNGS.
When things start to become overwhelming and all-consuming, it is extremely important to find ways to de-stress. These methods can be as elaborate or simple as you prefer, but music is a perfect way to sit back, and find pleasure within the sounds you prefer. So, whether it’s Mac Miller on Spotify, a Furman musician on the violin, or a live concert on campus (FUOC often has live music, check them out!), take some time to get lost in the music. The possibilities are endless, and ultimately rewarding.