Dr. Mao's research shows a large number of centenarians enjoying the sounds of music, but not the fast, "I Gotta Feeling" Black Eyed Pea's stimulating music, but the slow, soothing music of the world's classics. Think "Peter and the Wolf" or "Claire de Lune" or any of the great masters - Beethoven, Bach, Mozart et al.
Music has been a traditional part of healing ceremonies and rituals across the world with a rich history of therapeutic use. Calming, classical music not only enhances cognitive functions such as memory, concentration and reasoning skills, but it also boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscle tension, regulates stress hormones, elevates mood and increases endurance (Secrets of Longevity). WOW. And, guess who's among the longest living of all professionals? You got it, the classical musician, especially the orchestra conductor. Even plants, serenaded with soothing classical music, lived longer on average than plants exposed to harsh, jarring music.
Now, I'm not giving up my favorite Black Eyed Peas, Phoenix, U2, Justin Timberlake (yes, I'm 48 and love him!) or any of the other thousand songs on my iPod, but I will be adding more classical to my music library. Also, I'm hoping that New Age, Opera and soft jazz have the same benefits as classical, as I've already downloaded many a CD in these genres. So, if you're like me and seeking longevity, tune in to music on the softer side of that iPod song list.
My current go-to tunes for relaxation:
Enigma's Love, Sensuality, Devotion Greatest Hits
Diana Krall Quiet Nights
Luciano Pavarotti Nessun dorma
Jem - Finally Woken
Love to know your favorites too....now, it's time to relax...