The positive impact of music in COVID-19

“How are you coping during this time?”

This has been one of the most common questions asked in 2020. When the pandemic struck and our world was suddenly put on pause, everyone was trying to find ways to cope with the stressors COVID-19. One particular outlet which has shown to have a positive impact is music. Music is able to provide relief, connection and support during this time. 

RELIEF

It can be overwhelming to continuously be bombarded with COVID-19 news updates. A stream of news can induce anxiety and uncertainty. So, in order to combat these stressors, it is important to find meaningful activities that keep us grounded. For example, music activities have shown to be one way to improve health during stressful circumstances. Many studies found that playing or listening to music reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol (Novotney, 2013). Rather than dwelling in anxious thoughts, music can provide both physical and mental relief. Music Instructor, Sara Littlefield also notes, “Music is, and always will be, the thing that gets me through difficult phases of life. Through music, I can express every emotion farther than any depth”. Sara has ultimately been able to cope well with her stressors by participating in different music activities. Music has the ability to remind us that we can still find peace amidst the chaos in our world.

CONNECTION

In my own personal experience, this pandemic has made life feel quite isolating. I felt anxious not being able to see others in person or live out my normal daily routine. I started to wonder if all of my thoughts were simply me just overthinking. However, once I turned to music, I began to feel connected to others again. Songs have provided me with reassurance to know we are never alone in our struggles. Oftentimes a song written by another person captures all of the emotions I have felt but could never find the right words to use. Simply stated by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous quote “Where words fail music speaks”. Music has also helped me stay connected to the present moment. Although my days look a lot different than before, I realized that I am still given an opportunity each day to learn something new. Whether it’s learning a new song or discovering a new artist, music keeps me grounded in today instead of waiting around for normalcy to return. 

SUPPORT

Despite the inability to attend live performances, it’s beautiful to see how musicians have found ways to come together virtually. Many people have utilized different video chatting platforms in order to share music and interact. Studies have shown that music bonds others together due to an increase of released endorphins and social connection (Suttie, 2016). Thus, virtual music communities may be beneficial in finding support. It has also been uplifting to see how music has become a way to raise proceeds toward COVID-19. New songs and virtual events were produced solely to help everyone who have been affected by this pandemic. For example, MusiCares, a nonprofit organization has raised over $10 million to support musicians. The amount of donations received truly shows how much our society values music and its artists. 

Ultimately, music has been a positive outlet for many people, including myself. If you are looking for ways to de-stress, get connected or simply want to enjoy a new activity, I encourage you to try music. I hope it will be able to help you get through these difficult times.  

Author: Rachel Garcia

References:

Novotney, A. (2013). Music as Medicine. Retrieved from 

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music

Suttie, J. (2016). How Music Bonds Us Together. Retrieved from 

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_music_bonds_us_together

MusiCares

https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief

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