Music Offers Dose of Nostalgia and Other Benefits to Seniors

Last week, users of the music sharing App, Spotify were treated to a customized playlist, “Your Time Capsule” that offered nostalgia—and perhaps more. Spotify’s customized, “Your Time Capsule” gave users great tunes from their youth, based on their music preferences, and it’s possible that it also helped  boost their moods and brought back memories and positive emotions as well.

The positive feelings and mental clarity some of us experienced when listening to these playlists might be explained by research.

A recent article, “Can Music Heal Trauma? Exploring the Therapeutic Powers of Sound,” suggests that music can help us heal from past traumatic events and points to how music can be used to feel more peaceful and calm.

The use of music in nursing homes and with seniors dealing with cognitive challenges appears to offer numerous benefits.

In “Health experts say music provides healing,” provides examples from a senior center in Florida of how residents benefit from music.

The article, “How Music Helps Unlock Memories and Improve Quality of Life for Dementia Patients,” cites numerous examples of how music can help people struggling with the effects of these conditions.

There are many free and subscription-based services that help us find songs, albums, and playlists from our—or the seniors in our lives’—youth , which include YouTube, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music.

Of course, old school records and tapes are always a fun option to bring back even more of the original experience of listening to the music of our youth.

Regardless of the source or device you listen on, enjoying some favorite old tunes is a wonderful way to lift your mood, calm an anxious senior, and revisit some of the best times—and feelings—of our past.

by Andrew Paul Williams, Ph.D.

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