CNN recently covered some fun physiological research from the University of Maryland that showed that music – music you like – really is good for your heart:
Miller thought, if laughter can do that, why not music? So, he tested the effects of music on the cardiovascular system. “Turns out music may be one of the best de-stressors — either by playing or even listening to music,” said Miller.
The setup was basically the same as with the laughter study: Using high-tech imaging, Miller measured blood vessel size as people listened to music.
The results did not surprise Miller. “The inner lining of the blood vessel relaxed, opened up and produced chemicals that are protective to the heart,” he said.
But when participants listened to music they didn’t particularly enjoy, Miller said, “the vessels actually began to close up.”
Make sure you keep finding new tunes, though:
…Miller found that listening repeatedly to the same tune diminished the music’s effects on the body. “You just don’t get that boost if you listen to the same song over and over again,” he said. “You need to vary your songs, so when you hear the song fresh, it brings back the sense of joy and opens up the system.”