How can music help you?

Research comes from hunches or guesses based on personal events. Then everything we know about that guess is studied – all the additional background, what other people have found in similar situations. By looking at the way the studies were conducted, researchers can work out whether the results would happen for anyone or just a small group of people. And sometimes they copy the study exactly to work out whether there were any important differences that were not accounted for, like income, education, gender, age or even geography.

A few recent studies show what happens when music is used in different situations.

Music and Alzheimers:

de la Rubia Orti, J. E., Pardo, M. P. G., Benllochi, M., Drehmer, E., Platero, J. L., Sancho, D., & Rodriguez, M. M. L. (2019). Music Therapy Decreases Sadness and Increases Happiness in Alzheimer Patients: A Pilot Study. Neurosychiatry, 9(1), 2013-2020.

Music and Chronic Pain:

Moss, H. (2019). The Use of Music in the Chronic Pain Experience: An Investigation into the Use of Music and Music therapy by Patients and Staff at a Hospital Outpatient Pain ClinicMusic and Medicine11(1), 6-22.

Music and Dementia:

Ihara, E. S., Tompkins, C. J., Inoue, M., & Sonneman, S. (2019). Results from a person‐centered music intervention for individuals living with dementiaGeriatrics & gerontology international19(1), 30-34.

Music and Diabetes:

Mandel, S. E., Davis, B. A., & Secic, M. (2013). Effects of music therapy and music-assisted relaxation and imagery on health-related outcomes in diabetes education: A feasibility study. The diabetes educator39(4), 568-581.

Music and Heart Disease:

Bradt, J., Dileo, C., & Potvin, N. (2013). Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).

Music and Medical Procedures:

Fernandes, S. T., & D’silva, F. (2019). Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Depression, Anxiety and Stress among Haemodialysis PatientsInternational Journal of Nursing Education11(1), 124-129.

Music and Older People:

Chan, M. F., Chan, E. A., & Mok, E. (2010). Effects of music on depression and sleep quality in elderly people: a randomised controlled trialComplementary therapies in medicine18(3-4), 150-159.

Music and Postpartum Depression:

Robertson, A. M., & Detmer, M. R. (2019). The effects of contingent lullaby music on parent-infant interaction and amount of infant crying in the first six weeks of life. Journal of Pediatric Nursing46, 33-38.

Music and Stroke:

Le Danseur, M., Crow, A. D., Stutzman, S. E., Villarreal, M. D., & Olson, D. M. (2019). Music as a Therapy to Alleviate Anxiety During Inpatient Rehabilitation for StrokeRehabilitation Nursing Journal44(1), 29-34.


In fact, the organisation that approves medical procedures in the UK, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) includes guidance for use of music and are conducting studies into the use of music. Click on the link below for a direct link to the research:

Non-pharmacological interventions for breathlessness in advanced stages of malignant and non-malignant diseases

End of life care for infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions: planning and management

Looked-after children and young people

Drug misuse prevention: targeted interventions 

Dementia resource for carers and care providers

Depression in children and young people: identification and management

Type 2 diabetes prevention: population and community-level interventions

Older people: independence and mental wellbeing

Psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people: recognition and management

Intrapartum care for healthy women and babies