Cue the Music

Letter from the Associate Editor

By Sabrina Jonas

A recent university graduate once said, “What do I do now? Where do I go from here?” Me. I am that recent university graduate.

I find myself in a liminal state between multiple facets of life: scrambling student and well-adjusted adult, sufficient and insufficient funds, homebody and traveler.

When life gets overwhelming and my woes seem insurmountable, there’s no quicker fix to escaping the funk than…funk.

Music is a fundamental characteristic of the human species. It helps us connect with each other. It’s a time machine, a safe space, a smell, his smile. A song has a way of moving us from the inside out.

Moreover, all that jazz has myriad health benefits. Music is linked to stress relief, mood alteration and pain management. A collective “thank you for the music” à la ABBA.

Listening to “relaxing” music (slow tempo, low pitch, no lyrics) has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in healthy people, according to the New York Academy of Sciences.

Studies show people prefer mood-congruent stimuli — they would rather hear a song that is consistent with their mood. Listening to a sad song when you’re sad has the same effect as disclosing your feelings to a friend and receiving support. Remember that next time you find solace in throwing on some Sarah McLachlan and having a good cry.

The same can be said for happiness. Listening to upbeat music improves your mood, especially when combined with a desire to be happier.

Few things are more stressful than illness and surgery. Can music reduce stress and even pain? According to a 2006 study of 60 adults with chronic pain, it can.

Care for your health this summer by exploring the abundance of music Montreal has to offer. Sway along at the Montreal International Jazz Festival; rock out at Heavy Montréal; sing in or out of tune at Osheaga. The city is a music hub and is yours for the listening. Crank the tunes and watch your health and happiness improve.


Summer 2019, Vol 11 N°3

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Women’s Health

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Sabrina Jonas Letter from the Associate Editor

Sabrina Jonas

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