No matter what age you are, it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health needs. Making small lifestyle changes, from adjusting to your diet to meditating regularly, can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. One of the simplest things you can do to promote your health is listen to jazz music. Believe it or not, jazz has been linked to positive health benefits such as reduced stress, improved mental wellness and better physical health. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of listening to jazz music.

Jazz Music May Lower Blood Pressure

Between 30% and 50% of adults over the age of 50 are reported to have chronic hypertension, or high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a number of dangerous complications, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysms
  • Torn blood vessels
  • Dementia

Several types of music, including classical music, upbeat music and smooth jazz, have been proven to help lower blood pressure by expanding blood vessels — this consequently reduces the likelihood of developing health complications. According to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, listening to jazz can expand vessels by up to 30%. As an added bonus, it can also boost immunoglobulin levels, decreasing the risk of infection.

Of course, music alone is not a comprehensive treatment — if you have high blood pressure, it’s important to supplement music therapy with things like proper exercise, regular medical checkups and a low-salt diet.

Listening to a Jazz Song Stimulates the Brain

Listening to relaxing music is known to influence your brain waves, resulting in several different cognitive benefits. Examples include:

  • Stress relief: Jazz music relaxes the body by activating your alpha brain waves, which helps with reducing anxiety and promoting a calm mind.
  • Better sleep: Listening to jazz music can activate delta brain waves, which induces better sleep.
  • Increased creativity: In addition to alpha and delta waves, jazz music can promote your theta brain waves, which encourage higher levels of creativity.
  • Improved memory and mood: According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, listening to jazz can improve your memory, mood and verbal abilities.
  • Reduced depression: Studies show that those who listen to jazz or slow music are 25% less likely to develop depression.

Whether you’re listening to the same songs or new musicians every night, exposing your brain to jazz music is a great way to improve your overall mental well-being.

Jazz May Assist With Chronic Pain Conditions

People with debilitating pain conditions often turn to prescription drugs and other medical treatments to help relieve that pain. While you should follow your doctor’s guidance on pain relief, it doesn’t hurt to try listening to jazz music as well. One study showed that those who listened to jazz music experienced a 21% decrease in pain — in comparison, non-listeners experienced only a 2% decrease in pain. In addition to chronic, everyday pain, jazz music can help with the following:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Stroke recovery
  • Childbirth
  • Post-operative recovery

Similar to how music persuades the brain to reduce stress and promote happiness, it can compel your brain to resist feelings of pain. Whether you’re going through a short-term event like childbirth or dealing with daily headaches, music offers an all-natural, safe solution. Positive results were also seen among those who listened to slow music and classical musicians.

Turn Up the Jazz

Famous jazz musician John Coltrane once said that music can “change the thinking of people.” Although he may have been speaking metaphorically, the quote turned out to be rooted in quite literal truths. Jazz influences our brains and bodies for the better, compelling us to be more creative, less stressed and healthier. That’s why an increasing number of doctors are turning to music therapy as a way to help patients feel happier and healthier.

Of course, jazz alone isn’t enough to treat every health issue, especially for older adults. Whether you’re trying to decrease your blood pressure or improve your mood, it’s important to consult medical professionals and make measurable lifestyle changes. One of the best ways to do this successfully is by finding a positive, encouraging environment like Riddle Village. At our senior living community, we offer everything you need for holistic wellness, from personal care and skilled nursing services to daily activities, programs and nutritious meals. You can always trust our experienced, passionate staff to address your concerns. Learn more by visiting us online and requesting a brochure today!