Mindfulness Diaries: a study of music


Nidhi Thomas

In this weekly column, guest contributer Nidhi Thomas writes about bringing mindfulness into everyday life.

Nidhi Thomas, Guest Contributor

1877 was when it all started, the year the phonograph was invented. You see, a small bunch of seemingly insignificant people who lived so many years ago heard this lovely, amazing sound….and smiled. They danced. They decided they wanted to hear that sound again, and again, and again. So they did. First they invented CD’s. Then, computers, mp3 files, and finally, AAC files- also known as every streaming service app of the 21st century (spotify, apple music, pandora, amazon music). Music has been an integral part of our lives for over 100 years ago now, and it has definitely become something much bigger than the old, traditional song played on the phonograph all those years ago. The type of music each person listens to varies greatly. 

Maybe Beethoven’s your jam. Symphony No. 5? Or maybe you prefer pop. Rock? Indie? Alternative Indie, maybe? Whatever type of music you like to listen to, you’d probably be quick to agree that music is a very personal, intuitive thing. There are so many aspects to consider when thinking about music in general. For example, for one person, listening to music might be a very casual thing, and to others, it may be a thing of great significance. There are also so many different types of music that can make us feel so many different, complicated emotions and that have different effects on us.

Music’s inherently complicated quality made me curious about it. I wondered what effect different types of music have on us. In today’s installment of the Mindfulness Diaries, I would like to share my discoveries. And help you, the reader, learn something new and perhaps practice a greater level of mindfulness in your life in the process of it. 


Jazz. It’s arguably the most misunderstood form of music. Many people refuse to listen to jazz music because it is particularly eccentric and unique- very different from other types of music. But different doesn’t mean bad. Jazz music is adorned with complex chords that make up stunning musical compositions and an insurmountable amount of emotion that can be felt by the listener. Oftentimes, this emotion is felt when an artist improvises the music during a jazz performance- making it all the more authentic. Also, jazz music has been known to help with anxiety. It is soothing and calm- and puts the mind at ease. If you’re a person who finds themselves stressed easily and just needs a breather, jazz music might be a good fit for you. 


Ever wake up and find that you’re just not feeling it? Maybe play some pop music while you’re going through your daily routine. This type of music is often upbeat, and puts one in a good mood. It increases your happiness levels and is good for bringing out your zest for life. 


Due to our busy and stressful lives, we as a society often find ourselves tired and burnt out- unable to be our best selves and put 100% effort into everything we do. This is a normal thing. When I study or complete an assignment last minute, I often find myself on edge and unable to focus on the task at hand. I have learned over the years how my ability to complete a task properly increases when I listen to classical music. Classical music improves your concentration by putting you in a good mood and preventing the release of stress hormones. If you’re like me, and often find yourself distracted in situations where you really need to put your mind to something, listening to classical music can be helpful. 


Of all the different types of music, metal is the most effective at connecting with the listener on a personal level. It gives you a strong sense of identity and helps you understand yourself in a meaningful way. 


Rap music helps get your creative juices flowing, keeps you motivated, and, like pop music, also induces a feeling of zest for life. Rap music is also one of the personal types of music. The listener can feel the emotion the rapper is trying to convey very clearly- it’s so raw and authentic.