Music can act as a stress reliever, mood improver, motivator, and creativity booster. While this has been obvious for years, only recently has science begun to figure out why that is. According to Huffington Post Health, "Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music heightens positive emotion through the reward centers of our brain, stimulating hits of dopamine that can make us feel good or even elated. Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brain -- in fact, almost no brain center is left untouched -- suggesting more widespread effects and potential uses for music." Here are five ways that music seems to improve our health and wellbeing: 1. Music reduces stress and anxiety. You know that one song that calms you down in any situation? Well, research has shown that listening to music, especially without lyrics or loud instrumentation, can calm people down, even during highly stressful or painful events. I have a few songs that I reserve especially for when we hit turbulence in airplanes (one of my least favorite feelings in the world!) Performing music may also have a calming effect. Be it an instrument or just singing, there is a noticeable sense of calm that comes over you. 2. Music decreases pain. In a 2013 study, sixty people diagnosed with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to listen to music once a day over a four-week period. The group that listened to music experienced significant pain reduction and fewer cases of depression. It’s not exactly clear why music reduces pain, but it probably has something to do with its effect on the brain's chemistry. 3. Music may improve immune functioning. A study from Massachusetts General Hospital found that listening to Mozart’s piano sonatas helped relax critically ill patients by lowering stress hormone levels, but the music also decreased blood levels of interleukin-6 -- a protein that has been implicated in higher mortality rates, diabetes and heart problems. 4. Music may aid memory. I always used to listen to music when I was studying, and it turns out that it helped me out! In a study published last year, adult students studying Hungarian were asked to speak, or speak in a rhythmic fashion, or sing phrases in the unfamiliar language. Afterwards, when asked to recall the foreign phrases, the singing group fared significantly better than the other two groups in recall accuracy. 5. Music helps us exercise. Who prides themselves on their awesome workout playlists? Researchers in the United Kingdom recruited thirty participants to listen to motivational music while they walked on a treadmill until they reached exhaustion levels. The participants who listened to music also said they felt better during their work out and lasted longer than those without it!