Music is the cure, and no I don't mean that goth band from the 80s which my dad is obsessed with (and subsequently made me obsessed with). Music is the medicine which we all need. 

Almost all of us have bad days, I myself have been the victim of some fairly horrifc days, but I know that there is one thing that can instantly heal whatever wound I have acquired. After a long day, fighting many battles and losing some wars there is only one thing that I can rely on. The eternal salvation of music. 

Now it may just be me, and I may just be a little obsessed, but I'm fairly certain that this concept of music as a saviour isn't alien to our society. Just today I walked into a record shop and instantly, the sounds of Boygenius' new album "The Record" made the air feel slightly lighter and aroma smell slightly sweeter. It was nice in that record shop. Everyone smiled, everyone was content, happily flicking through the record boxes and willingly listening to whatever album that the owner deemed fit.

I know it may feel as though music is a kind of magical entity, a immaterial concept that lifts our moods. A thing that is straight out of a fairy tale, or alternatively, an illicit drug, the kind of thing our personal development teacher pleads us to avoid. Music is actually proven to evoke positive emotions. The songs which we treasure and love release dopamine (the feel-good hormone) in our brains when we listen to it, making us, well, feel good! It's not magical, it's chemical!

Music actually has a huge influence on our moods. This seems obvious, as I'm sure most people can identify a song that makes them either aggressively happy or, worse, sad, but it has been proven. Listening to music increases blood flow to specific regions of the brain. These are the regions which generate and control our emotions. So essentially music has an actual physical effect on our emotions.

It's not even just listening to music which can affect a person. A study from Harvard University showed that all forms of music interventions (such as listening to music, singing, and music therapy) can cause significant improvements to a person's mental health. This conclusion seems perfectly plausible when you consider how many people you know that sing, or whistle, or hum when they're in a good mood. We associate music, in all forms, to a good feeling. Additionally, Classic FM provides more support to this concept:

Researchers have found that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills.

As someone who plays three instruments, I resonate highly with this research (partially because it makes me sound good). Truthfully, I'm not too sure how my literacy skills have improved with my ability to play the guitar, but once I got over that initial trauma of "this hurts my fingers" I found that learning to play an instrument was certainly an enriching experience. If anything, it's just something that I enjoy and something which I find relaxing. You might feel the same way about your musical instrument of choice, whatever that may be.

So there you have it. Music is the cure. Not in the way that it may heal your broken leg, but in the way that it might just help to heal your broken heart or your broken spirit. Nethertheless, the thing I love most about music is the connection that it helps to form. In the record shop today not only was I captivated by the sounds of the new Boygenius record, but the song that followed it provoked a similar reaction for both me and my dad. You should've seen the almost embarrasing wave of childlike delight at the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" from their album "Bridge over Troubled Water" that took over both of us. A delight that then sparked a whole conversation dedicated to our shared love for the duo. A conversation that I'm glad I had.