On SAGE Insight: Is engagement with music associated with higher wellbeing?

Article title: If you’re happy and you know it: Music engagement and subjective wellbeing

From Psychology of Music

Music is considered to be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying everyday activities, engaging with music is proposed to offer a variety of benefits to health and wellbeing. Such benefits have been seen by many as fundamental to all societies across the ages. Engaging with music is suggested to offer a variety of benefits to health and wellbeing. For example, music is proposed to reduce stress, and can evoke positive feelings such as joy, relaxation, and empowerment Music engagement can also be used as a problem-coping strategy, as a medium for facilitating social relationships and was even associated with a lower mortality rate in a Swedish study. This research explores the connection between habitual music engagement and subjective wellbeing. Subjective wellbeing (SWB) comprises individual evaluations of life satisfaction, and is internationally regarded at policy and government levels. The study uses data gathered in 2014 as part of the 31st survey of the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index to provide insight into the relationship between music engagement and SWB. A stratified random sample of 1,000 participants was interviewed via telephone. The findings revealed that engaging with music by dancing or attending musical events was associated with higher SWB than for those who did not engage with music in these forms. The results appear to advocate for the social and physical elements of music as being associated with higher wellbeing. The insight gained from here can be used to inform future interventions and to better understand how music is involved in emotional regulation.

Abstract

Experiencing and engaging with music have been fundamental to all societies across the ages. This study explores the connection between habitual music engagement and subjective wellbeing. Subjective wellbeing (SWB) comprises individual evaluations of life satisfaction, and is internationally regarded at policy and government levels. The present study uses data gathered in 2014 as part of the 31st survey of the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index to provide insight into the relationship between music engagement and SWB. A stratified random sample of 1,000 participants was interviewed via telephone. The findings revealed that engaging with music by dancing or attending musical events was associated with higher SWB than for those who did not engage with music in these forms. The findings also emphasised the important role of engaging with music in the company of others with regard to SWB, highlighting an interpersonal feature of music. The study provides an overview of the general relationship between music and SWB at a population level, by contrast to most research in the area that has focused on evaluating clinical interventions involving music. The insight gained from these findings can be used to inform future interventions and to better understand how music is involved in emotional regulation.

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Article details
If you’re happy and you know it: Music engagement and subjective wellbeing
Melissa K. Weinberg, Dawn Joseph,
First Published April 21, 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0305735616659552
Psychology of Music

 

 

 

 

     
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