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Listen Up – May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Being in the publicity biz, I’ve always used the many “National Day of…” as tools to promote clients.  For example, if you’re a health and lifestyle expert, May 1st is National Fitness Day, so send a press release to your local media as a story idea with you as the interviewee. 

However, there’s one that so important, it gets a whole month, and truly deserves a whole year.  May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.  Whether you’ve been quarantined this past year alone, with family, or with friends/roommates, you’re probably very aware of mental health.  The Pandemic has affected everyone, literally, everyone on the planet.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but music is a great way to make you healthier.  Recent studies have expanded the benefits of music to relaxing the mind, energizing the body, and even helping people better manage pain.  Who among us hasn’t used a fast-paced anthem to pump us up for physical exertion, or been moved to tears by a particularly touching ballad?  

The next time you need to concentrate, even though you think you need quiet, put on some background music and see how your cognitive performance improves.  One study found that playing more upbeat music led to improvements in processing speed, while both upbeat and downbeat music led to benefits in memory.  The study did recommend music without lyrics, as they tend to me more distracting.

Are you trying to lose weight?  Try dimming the lights and playing music.  A study found people who dined in low-light restaurants with soft music playing ate 18% less.  You can recreate the same atmosphere at home during dinner time to give your diet a boost.

Even pets can benefit from music in their lives.  I used to leave music playing for my dog, to reduce her separation anxiety, when I left the house.

So, as you become aware of your mental health this month, also be aware of the soundtrack you’d like to use to make the last days of the pandemic fly by!


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