Report: a new study has found that older adults show greater stress reduction when listening to music

Ed Sheeran, Metallic, Mozart, Taylor Swift: it turns out that listening to music helps reduce stress. 

This is according to a study undertaken by Dr Jenny Groarke, a lecturer in health psychology at Queen's University Belfast and a former Irish Research Council awardee. 

Her study looked at 40 young adults between 18 and 30 years of age and 40 older adults between 60 and 81 years of age. Each participant was free to choose their own music for the study. 

We think that the act of choosing your own music is a key part of this mood improvement that happens

"When we put people in the stressful situations in the lab, listening to music helped to reduce negative feelings and improve their mood more than listening to an engaging radio documentary", explains Groarke. "We think that the act of choosing your own music is a key part of this mood improvement that happens. You may not get the same benefits from being forced to listen to music that is not of your choosing or a music genre that is not your taste.

"We picked these two age groups because they're the ones where music listening tends to be most pervasive in their everyday life. Students spend about four hours a day listening to music and two thirds of older adults say they listen purposefully to music more than once a day.

"Interestingly, the middle age group is the one most in need of stress management and mood regulation as they have the most stressful lives, but music is not a priority."

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

From RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland, Jenny Groarke discusses her study into how listening to music can help to reduce stress

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ