Does Your Music Diet Improve Mental Hygiene?

When you spend as little as 15 minutes each day listening prescriptively to music the Music4Life way, you can remove the ruminants of negative stress and cleanse your brain. Prescriptive music listening is being aware of conscious and subconscious decisions about music choices. This improved awareness uncovers music’s effects on subconscious influences that affect mental hygiene. Let’s explore music’s impact on states of consciousness that connect physiology to both the conscious and subconscious minds.

  • Stimulative music enhances beta brain waves (mental/emotional activity).
  • Sedative music increases alpha brain waves (mental/emotional relaxation).

Experiencing the alpha state of consciousness has been linked with the flow state, where you lose track of time and become unusually productive. Increasing the alpha state of consciousness has been found to significantly improve creativity, diminish anxiety and depression, improve pain tolerance and build resilience to stress.

It’s important to identify your diet of music diet.

What combination of stimulative and sedative music do you listen to: when, how, why and where? Increase your awareness about your choices.

  • What is the music selection and genre, is it stimulative or sedative? Do others agree or disagree with you? If you are stuck in a Chronic Comfort Zone, you may resonate most with others who are also in that zone.
  • When are you listening to music? Time of day matters and can relate to biorhythms. Read more about music linked to biorhythms here.
  • How are you listening to music? Publicly, not privately? Audio speakers command everyone’s attention, whether they want to listen to it or not. Headphones guard everyone’s privacy and right to choose music for health purpose. You never know whom you might trigger into a negative behavior with your music if played publicly without others’ permissions.
  • Why are you choosing that music, right now? How are you connecting with it: as a memory or does it validate your life? Or something else?
  • Where are you listening to it? In bed, the car, office, airplane, hospital or gym?

Does your music diet clean out stress and maximize mental hygiene benefits? Let’s start with understanding that music impacts brain activity.

For instance, music affects spontaneous brain activity with changes recorded by EEG. Studies show that music has an impact on the bio electrical activity of the brain and can have an activating effect on the brain in people with disorders of consciousness. Long term music therapy was applied in cases of coma (unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) and traumatic brain injury with EEG results reporting an increase of high-frequency waves with brain activation reflecting a tendency of recovering brain integrity.

Read the entire study “The Impact of Music on the Bioelectrical Oscillations of the Brain” here.

Let’s circle back to the importance of alpha brainwaves. Existing neuro scientific studies consistently show there is a relationship between EEG alpha waves and creative ideation. During creative cognition, alpha increases were noted at frontal and right parietal sites. Other recent studies consistently showed that brain activity in the EEG alpha frequency band reflected sensitivity to different creativity related demands. Brain states during the production of more original ideas differentiated from those observed during production of less original ideas. The more creative a task, the higher the level of alpha. Alpha brainwaves can build creativity.

Read the entire study “EEG Alpha Power and Creative Ideation” here.

Let’s further explore creativity and its benefits in the work setting when connected to innovation and psychological empowerment. In one study, psychological empowerment was found to breed creative individuals who identify original and improved ways to achieve some purpose, developing solutions to job-related problems that are novel and appropriate for the situation. Creative individuals are more likely to discover client or customers’ hidden needs and solve their problems creatively and effectively, effectively producing superior performance.

This study was conducted in small/medium businesses in Turkey, investigating the impact of four dimensions of psychological empowerment including: meaning, competence, impact and self-determination and their correlation with innovativeness. Findings reported that when an individual has an interest in a task (Meaning), it leads to a higher level of creativity. And having a sense of confidence in one’s abilities (Competence), resulted in more persistence and commitment to achieve goals. A sense of choice in initiating and regulating action (Self determination), demonstrated greater personal initiative and enhanced creative achievement. Belief that one can influence outcomes (Impact), was more likely to generate, promote and realize creative ideas for innovation.

This study’s results suggest psychological empowerment has a significant impact on individual creativity which may lead to increased innovativeness. Therefore, creativity is significantly improved when psychological empowerment includes meaning, competence, impact and self-determination.

Read the entire study here.

Pair prescriptive music listening with the above studies and realize the many benefits of creating a personalized music diet that improves mental hygiene with the appropriate utilization of 1) the correct music, 2) at the right moment, 3) in the best sequence. These are the three stages of Music4Life Music Medicine learned in the accredited Music Medicine Boot Camp. This medical Music Medicine Protocol culls music from all genres, categorizes moods, and sequences emotions that dispel a bad mood with long-term benefits mentioned above in psychological empowerment.

Music4Life’s study reports resolving unsettled moods and bringing emotional balance whereby physician directed cessation of anti-anxiety, depression, and pain medications subsequently led to increased reengagement with previously enjoyed activities and a reported enhanced quality of life. Read the entire study “The development of a music therapy protocol: A Music 4 Life® case report of a veteran with PTSD” to understand the potential benefits of prescriptive music listening here. Also known as Music Medicine Pills®, prescriptive listening can be done effectively within 15-minutes, as exampled in this 15-minute Music Medicine Pill called “Stress Brake.”



ÇEKMECELIOĞLU, H.D. and ÖZBAĞ G.K. (April, 2014). Linking psychological empowerment, individual creativity and firm innovativeness:
A research on Turkish manufacturing industry. Business Management Dynamics Vol.3(10), pp.01-13.

Fink A, Benedek M. EEG alpha power and creative ideation. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Jul;44(100):111-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.12.002. Epub 2012 Dec 12. PMID: 23246442; PMCID: PMC4020761.

Kučikienė D, Praninskienė R. The impact of music on the bioelectrical oscillations of the brain. Acta Med Litu. 2018;25(2):101-106. doi: 10.6001/actamedica.v25i2.3763. PMID: 30210244; PMCID: PMC6130927.

Wellman, R., and Pinkerton, J.(2015). The development of a music therapy protocol: A Music 4 Life® case report of a veteran with PTSD. Music and Medicine Journal, VII (3), 24-39.






Today’s article was written by our Guest Blogger:

Judith Pinkerton, LPMT, MT-BC

Licensed board-certified music therapist