If you are as lazy as I am, chances are you did not bother to go get your flu shot. You know, the one that is pretty much free with any sort of insurance. If you are equally as unlucky as you are lazy, chances are you ended up stuck in bed for multiple days with said flu. This has been my week.
There is nothing fun about being sick. At least as a kid it was an excuse to miss school, but nowadays most people dread missing school for fear of missing an important side note of a live lecture or missing a deadline. On top of that, others cannot afford to miss a few days out of a paycheck, namely those that are paying for their rent, food, etc.
There is very little that I can manage to do when I’ve been hit hard with any bug, but one thing out of my daily routine that I’ve always maintain is plugging in my headphones and playing some music.
In the midst of relieving my sinuses with a steamy shower, I began thinking of the effects that music had been having on my sickness and my overall mood. This lead me to doing some quick research on whether this had been placebo, or whether music had actually managed to have an effect on my flu symptoms.
Turns out that many studies point to music having “healing powers”. In fact, A study from Wilkes University linked listening to relaxing tunes for at least a half hour to an increase in the production of immunoglobulin A, which is a protein in the immune system that helps to fight illnesses.
According to the American Psychological Association, listening to music can also reduce the levels of cortisol in the brain, the hormone that is responsible for stress. While this seems like a stretch for being related to the flu, stress actually can play a large role in the duration of an illness. Often, those who are sick stress over their symptoms and try to cure themselves. This stress can lead to intensified symptoms, especially when there is no distraction from them.
Countless more studies have tied music to some sort of healing powers for a variety of illnesses, ranging from Parkinson’s to depression, but even less severe sicknesses can be helped with the power of music.
The best songs to listen to when you’re sick are those that makes you happy. This can vary from person to person, with some preferring punk rock and others preferring smooth jazz. But, also consider listening to more relaxing music that may help you ease into sleep. A healthy mix of a few different soothing genres are sure to make anyone feel better.
For more recommendations, check out my recently created sick playlist on Spotify.