News — April 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Study shows people that see more live music are less stressed

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Reducing your stress levels may be as simple as getting out of the house and going and seeing some live music according to a study undertaken by The Royal College of Music and Imperial College London.

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As NME reports, the study focussed on the stress hormone cortisol, measuring the levels for 117 individuals at two separate concerts by composer Eric Whitacre, with saliva samples taken before, during and after the show.

 

The study states, “We ran the experiment twice, four months apart, in two separate venues. For both concerts, the performers, conductor, length of concert, genre of music and key pieces within the programme were kept the same in order to replicate the listening experience as closely as possible.”

 

Daisy Fancourt, part of the team that conducted the study, says, “Our results suggest that attending a live performance leads to lower secretion of glucocorticoids and a reduced cortisol/cortisone ratio, indicating lowered biological stress. These results are in line with 22 previous studies showing that listening to music in the controlled setting of either a laboratory or a hospital can reduce cortisol levels.” The study is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity.

 

“It is of note that none of these biological changes were associated with age, musical experience or familiarity with the music being performed. This suggests there is a universal response to concert attendance among audience members,” Fancourt continued.

 

While cortisol does no harm in moderate doses, sustained levels of the hormone have been linked to health issues like heart difficulties, diabetes and impotence.

Check out the full research paper here.