Want to know what cures road rage? Car karaoke.


Yes, singing along in the car while driving improves your mood and reduces stress. When you are stuck in traffic or someone cuts you off, instead of yelling at the person, just sing along to a song.


Music can have a positive effect in your daily life. If you are a Lisztomaniac like me, you have to listen to music all the time. Music is all around us, and it makes you sing, dance, laugh, cry, and even brings back pleasant memories. Listening to music for just 50 minutes throughout the week can raise levels of disease-fighting antibodies and improve your mental health.


A few benefits of listening to music:

  • It keeps you productive. Many people need music in the background while they work, which is proven to increase productivity and cognitive performance. Even surgeons listen to music while operating; it enhances the surgical performance. An article from the University of Windsor researched a software company and found that playing music made people much happier and increased productivity by 15%. People were in a better mood and had an overall better workday. Listening to music can boost your mood while working in the workplace, while doing house chores, or while engaging in other daily routines. Music helps you stay aware, focused, and attentive and helps you become motivated.
  • It energizes. When we hear a good song, we cannot help but start tapping our foot. Doing so produces endorphins that stimulate the brain and lift you into a better mood. Blood flow increases; your moving body helps you keep awake. Without being aware of it, your brain makes sense of the sound and simulates the beat, and your body starts to move because of the rhythm. People may play an air guitar or a drum solo while listening to music, boosting mood and reducing stress.
  • It encourages movement. It makes you want to dance. You might protest, “But I don’t know how to dance,” and that’s okay. Swaying to the music, moving your head, or just mimicking a dance move is a great way to decrease anxiety and stress. Learning how to dance is a great way to improve your health overall. It is shown to reduce stiffness, improves posture and flexibility, reduces pain, helps your heart, strengthens muscles, and helps your mind stay sharp. Learning something new helps your brain stay active.
  • It raises your pain threshold. Singing a great stress reliever whether you can carry a tune or not. The simple act of singing relieves stress, increases pain threshold, helps your mental health and mood. Singing releases endorphins and oxytocin. Singing requires deep breathing, which helps the muscles in your respiratory system. While singing, inhaling and exhaling provide the same effects as yoga breathing, which helps you relax. You do not have to know how to sing — just sing and have a solo concert anywhere you are.
  • It stimulates the machinery of memory. Listening to music is like exercising your brain. It improves your memory and enhances your mental sharpness. That explains why many popular jingles are easily stored and retrieved in our brains. Neurological patterns from rhythm and sound stay in the memory bank for a long time. University of California researchers find that “music has the ability to repair brain damage and return lost memories.” Even listening to sad songs can make you feel better — purging negative emotions. At the same time, it’s nostalgic; music can awaken old memories and help you reflect on good times, another means of stress relief.
Note: This content originally appeared on Mind Matters from Menninger, our blog on PsychologyToday.com.