One good thing about music. When it hits you, you feel no pain – Bob Marley

Whether you are tapping your feet to Dire Straits’ guitar, swinging your head to the beat of Alan Walker or languishing in your bedroom to the strings of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, music has a magical ability to pump us up or calm us down. 

You look around and it is almost impossible to find a person who doesn’t feel a strong connection with music. Jukebox Hero by 80’s rock band Foreigner symbolises this. The song (lyrics below) tells an inspiring true story of a boy who couldn’t get a ticket to watch their show but wanted to experience the show so badly that he stood in the rain with his ear to the wall to listen from outside. The very next day, the boy bought a guitar from a pawn store and felt as if his destiny was in his hands when he held it. He starts plucking the strings just as a newbie would, but amazingly plays the guitar like a pro.

Standing in the rain, with his head hung low
Couldn't get a ticket, it was a sold out show
Heard the roar of the crowd, he could picture the scene
Put his ear to the wall, then like a distant scream
He heard one guitar, just blew him away
He saw stars in his eyes, and the very next day
Bought a beat up six string, in a second-hand store
Didn't know how to play it, but he knew for sure
That one guitar, felt good in his hands
Didn't take long, to understand

The story tells us about one important aspect about life – we can live our lives without a lot of things, and music is not one of them, for the most of us!

Over the past two decades, several studies have explored how the brain responds to music. The quest to find out more about the chemical processes that occur in our body continues, but scientists have come across some clues on the medicinal effects that music has on our psyche. 

According to scientists, blood flows more easily when music is played. It has the therapeutic power to reduce heart rate, lower our blood pressure, decrease levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and increase the levels of serotonin (mood stabiliser) and endorphin (pain reliever). As experienced by a vast majority of people, music also elevates the mood, boosts production of the ‘feel-good’ hormone dopamine and improves the quality of sleep.

As per a study by the University of Edinburgh in the UK, listening to music while running helps improve people's performance when they feel mentally fatigued. The findings indicate that the performance of runners who listened to a self-selected playlist as they ran after completing a mentally exhausting task was at the same level as when they were not mentally fatigued.

The next time when you experience burnout, feel a lack of motivation, mental fatigue, depression or isolation, it’s time for a little music therapy. Immerse yourself in non-stop music for every mood with the British Council Digital Library on your computer, laptop or any mobile device. Enjoy top performances by the legendary Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Eagles, Foreigner, Keith Urban, Shania Twain, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and other favourite international artists and bands. 

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