The healing power of what you hear

A recent study out of Stanford University found elderly patients who were diagnosed with depression gained self-esteem and saw an improvement in their mood when they were visited by a music therapist.

For years, Miller, a research cardiologist, has been studying the effects of happiness — or things that make people happy — on our hearts. He began his research with laughter, and found watching funny movies and laughing at them could actually open up blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate more freely.

Miller thought, if laughter can do that, why not music? So, he tested the effects of music on the cardiovascular system. “Turns out music may be one of the best de-stressors — either by playing or even listening to music,” said Miller.

I just had to share this; as a jazz musician and lover of most (or at least many) styles of music.  Feel free to take the same critical eye to the suggestion that music may help “slow down the aging process” that you would to assertions that fat will be the death of you.  Yet I do find this correlation between listening to pleasurable sounds and a healthier/happier heart to be interesting.

I wonder what a study would find if people also weren’t stressed thinking that the next thing they might hear would be some sort of vocal disparagement of their size/shape/body?  If you never felt the fluttering panic that what you might next hear would be hurtful in some personal way; something you don’t want to hear or don’t like (like a song or a trolling jeer) would your stress levels be even lower?  And your heart even healthier?

Could removing that belief in telling fatties they are fat “for their own good” actually work to IMPROVE health: lowering stress and improving self esteem?

Maybe the two (un-liked music and negative oral comments) aren’t at all connected but I know that never fearing that my wages of visibility might become aurally apparent through the voices of hateful others would certainly contribute to lower levels of stress in my mind.


3 thoughts on “The healing power of what you hear

  1. I definitely think there would be less stress and less depression (in the non-clinical sense) if fat people weren’t constantly told they were unhealthy, ugly, unworthy of love, unworthy of actually being able to exist.

    Trolls and assorted fatphobes think this nonstop negatvity is for our own good, but in reality, it actually does more harm. Once they realize that and let us live our own lives, the better off everyone will be.

  2. Once they realize that and let us live our own lives, the better off everyone will be.

    Ah, but you misunderstand, they don’t mean us well, they hate us. Once they realize they’re doing us harm, they’ll redouble their efforts. Harping on our health is just a cover, and a damn thin one, for unmitigated hate and loathing.

    • “Harping on our health is just a cover, and a damn thin one, for unmitigated hate and loathing.”

      This is at once so true and so sad. part of me wonders sometimes if all the “just calories in/out” crap would be easier to hear (over and over …) if people would just be honest and say “I don’t actually give a flying fart about your health; I just don’t like looking at fatties” instead of claiming “concern”. Then again… perhaps not

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