Music is good for you! Here’s how to enjoy it safely
“Listening to music elevates mood and improves cognition,” says Dr. Ahlberg. “Hearing your favorite song promotes the release of a chemical called dopamine. It can also evoke memories, exercising your brain and preparing it to resist cognitive decline.”
To ensure you can appreciate music to the fullest, Dr. Ahlberg recommends getting your hearing checked and investing in a comfortable pair of headphones or earbuds, and follow these safe-listening tips:
TURN DOWN THE VOLUME
It’s tempting to crank up the beats, but personal audio devices can easily pass the dangerous noise threshold. Turn them down to 60 percent of their maximum volume or lower for safer listening, and try not to listen for more than 60 consecutive minutes.
CONSIDER NOISE-CANCELING DEVICES
If you use music to escape the noise of outdoor parks, public transit, the gym, or the workplace, choosing headphones with a noise-canceling feature is a smart way to listen at lower volumes. Don’t drown out the ruckus –block it!
To benefit from listening to music most, be present and pay attention. Don’t just throw on a playlist to accompany household chores or cover up road noise in the care – listen in a quiet environment so you can focus.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS
If you notice any ringing in your ears after listening to music, that’s a cue from your body that the volume was too loud. Turn it down next time and give yourself a period of rest before resuming listening. Repeated exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss.