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Throughout time and place, music maintained an important place in our lives because of how it makes us feel good. Two recent preprints found evidence that musical activities (both playing and listening to music) was also beneficial for wellbeing during the early-stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. In both studies, people from all over the world, including countries in Western Europe, South America, North America, and Asia, completed online, self-report surveys that asked about their current activities, goals, personality, and basic demographic information. Music was found to be more effective than similar enjoyable activities like eating, reading, exercising, and watching TV, for achieving certain wellness goals, such as maintaining a positive mood, venting negative emotions and connecting with one’s self. This link between music and wellbeing was for the most part, persisted across gender, age, and culture. Furthermore, the hours people spent engaging with musical activities during the pandemic was associated with less distress and less depression, which again, was not found with other, similar activities. These findings suggest that for many people, musical engagement during times of crisis is a good way of maintaining and promoting wellbeing.
You can read more from these two manuscripts here. As they are preprints, they are still under peer review, so keep in mind that some details may change upon publication.