How Much Can Music Improve Student Mental Health?
woman laying on bed near gray radio
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How Much Can Music Improve Student Mental Health?

Molly Raby February 26, 2023

Speak Up. Reach Out is Freshered's mental health initiative.

You may write music off as something you put on in the background to drown out silence. Maybe it’s something you put on because you’re bored or maybe to sing along to your new favourite song. However, recent studies have shown that listening to music can effectively improve your wellbeing. So how much can music improve student mental health?

Here are a few of the better ways music can help positively improve your mental state.

Stress Reduction

Listening to music has been proven to reduce and relieve stress. This works best with soothing music, which in turn lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immune cell counts and thus reduces and relieves the overall stress levels of hormones in the body.

Aside from the science, listening to soothing music can occupy your mind and help you to avoid thinking about stressful situations in your life.

If you are at work, university or somewhere that you believe to be very stressful, why not take five minutes away to put headphones on and relax. You can then go back to the task at hand with a clearer mind and less stress. We all know that students go through a lot at uni so any chance to improve your mental health through music should be seized.


In a 2011 study, it was revealed that dopamine is released in the brain when listening to music. Dopamine is labelled as the ‘feel-good’ chemical which has been traced in humans when eating sweets to being in love. The study showed that participants’ dopamine levels were up by 9% when they listened to music.

This means that you can alter your mood by simply listening to the music you already love.

Many people think that you have to do potentially tricky tasks such as working out or going on long walks in order to reap the happy, positive benefits. However, this is clearly not the case, as you can put some headphones on, escape for a bit and come back happier.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

Creates Community

You can fall into a negative mental space when you feel alone. Not feeling as though you have people to reach out to and talk to can make something relatively small feel much bigger and heavier than it could have been.

However, listening to music can really bring people together. This can come in the form of going to concerts or festivals, joining fan groups online and making likeminded friends, or even just talking to people around you who like the same music as you.

Finding people who like the same music or artist as you can be the first step in filling your social calendar with more events and meet-ups. This will give you a place to talk about your feelings with people whom you share a bond with.

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Molly Raby is a freelance journalist who works closely with GRV Media and Freshered. After completing her BA (Hons) in English Language and Creative Writing at Salford University 2022, she began her journey into the world of journalism and copywriting. In addition to writing for Freshered, Molly also wrote for The Gold and Green Crowd, interviewing jockeys, horse trainers and others within racing industry. Molly has a passion for film and TV as well as a keen interest in sports.