Tune in for finals: How music can help relieve your exam stress

This time of year is a stressful one for students, but music might be the solution to help keep your worries at bay.

Music therapist William Murray said, “There are many ways music can be therapeutic to someone who is suffering from stress or anxiety. Music calms our brain and allows us to take a much-needed breather. It can help put your mind at focus and it can slow your heart rate allowing you to feel the relaxation effect that music is meant to bring.”

When asked what types of music are the most effective, Murray said, “It depends on the listeners preferences. The best I’ve found that works on most people is classical like Mozart or Bach, but it’s really up to the listener what they find helps them.”

Music, like any art form, is a way of communication. Music affects our brain and can help balance out stress levels. The Canadian Music Therapy Fund identifies  different effects that music therapy can have, such as decreasing anxiety levels, reducing stress, helping with personal growth and decreasing signs of depression.

Art credit: Katelyn Curtis.

A common sight in any school’s library is students head down, buried in their work with their headphones in. Many students find it relaxing to listen to music while they work. Student Calum Barclay said, “Music is like the ultimate form of escapism. Music has this ability to create chemical reactions in your mind, body and soul unlike any other thing on earth. The possibilities are endless and it’s like a reminder that everyone has a different life experience.”

Student listening to music while doing work.

If you are struggling with stress and anxiety, maybe music therapy is right for you. Make sure to bring your favourite pair of ear buds and that Spotify study playlist when preparing for final exams this semester.