A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes the results of a research study that examined which activities worked best to lift people’s moods during the COVID pandemic. Sex and drugs were among the 43 options participants could choose from, along with exercise, cooking, social media, video calls, and various types of entertainment.
The study involved 1,000 participants from the U.S., Europe, and Latin America and looked at what people considered their most effective coping mechanisms during the shelter-in-place orders at the beginning of the pandemic last spring.
The study found that music, exercise, and entertainment were the most potent stress relievers for the greatest number of people. But of those three activities, music, which includes singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or just listening to a favorite playlist—was the only one that led to a reduction of depression symptoms. A fifth of all the participants reported it as the most effective way to reduce their pandemic-induced blues. Music’s calming effects were particularly potent for people who were highly sensitive to rewards.
This suggests that the more pleasure you get from music, the more it reduces your depression symptoms.
It should be noted that the study has not yet been published and thus has not yet been peer-reviewed.
But the early signs are encouraging – if the pandemic has got you down, and you’re looking for a way to boost your spirits, music seems like a great option.
So I’ll try to do my part by sharing a song and video that always puts me in a good mood. Please note that it is about six minutes long. I’m not sure who I’d rather be – Brandon Flowers, the lead singer, or a member of that audience. Either way, it’s gotta get your dopamine flowing…
I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier…