Does Music Affect the Heart?

Sheet music

Many studies show the benefit music has on the brain. It encourages higher order thinking, increases positive moods, develops more connections in the brain which strengthens memory, and so much more. While it is clear that music is good to incorporate for mental health, how does music affect the heart whether spiritually or emotionally?

“We must have music. It is good for our souls. It reminds us of the beauty of God’s world. And through music, through making music or listening to it, we can thank God, Music is one of the best ways to pray.”

Pope St. John Paul II

As Pope St. John Paul II states in the quote above, music is an integral part of our understanding of beauty throughout the world and in our relationship with God. It’s clear that music affects the heart.

  • Music inclines the listener to notice the subtleties of daily life. Through each note, rhythm, instrument, and word, we can focus on the many aspects that make a piece of music whole. In the same way, we can also see how the details of daily life provide a more complete picture for what God is asking of each one of us. 
  • Music provides moments of peace. When created to express emotion and feeling, music can instill a greater sense of calm. Listening to music when stressed or anxious gives rest to your heart!
  • Music encourages the listener to lift their hearts to heaven through hymns and songs. The reason that sacred hymns and songs sound so heavenly is because they are another opportunity to pray, just as John Paul II says. 
  • Music is an outlet of expressing gratitude to God for His creation. By giving man the gift of creating music, we are able to unite deeper to God and those in Heaven. The numerous hymns about the Blessed Mother indicate that a great form of admiration comes in the form of music. 

So next time you hear a piece of music that stirs something wonderful within your heart, thank God for such a profound way of uniting with Him and remember that that’s what it was created for!