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MUSI20150 Music And Health University of Melbourne

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University of Melbourne

MUSI20150 Music And Health University of Melbourne

The human mind and body are often said to be separate entities, but when considering mental
health and physical health, they should not be regarded as distinct. These two aspects seem to
be inextricably correlated, with both direct and indirect effects on each other (Ohrnberger,
Fichera, & Sutton, 2017). Poor mental health negatively affects physical health, and likewise,
poor physical health increases the risk of the development of mental health issues. An
effective method to enhance both mental and physical health is through exercise or other
forms of physical activity. Some of the many benefits of physical activity on mental health
include reducing depression, anxiety, and negative moods while simultaneously improving
self-esteem and cognitive functions (Sharma, Madaan, & Petty, 2006).
I can be said to be a fitness junkie who frequents the gym often, therefore the playlist that I
have curated is based on my existing personal gym playlist that I always listen to without fail.
This year would be my 7th year of frequenting the gym, and I cannot deny that one of the
most important aspects of a successful workout session in the gym would be the use of music.
According to Thakare, Mehrotra, and Singh (2017), music has an ergogenic effect during
exercise in terms of improving performance, strength and power while reducing fatigue.
The playlist that I designed is in such a way that it not only helps the listener push their limits
and work harder, but also provides some sense of healing to the mind during the workout as
some of the songs have lyrics with a deeper meaning to them. Furthermore, with the
improved physical health that is hoped to be achieved with the help of this playlist, it could
potentially implicitly enhance an individual’s mental health. I selected songs that I
thoroughly enjoy as I find that it greatly motivates me on top of making me feel more
comfortable in the gym, where I may sometimes feel intimidated.
The playlist can be broken down into 4 parts, namely, warm up, strength and weight training,
cardio, and cool down. I have selected and sorted 10 songs into these categories based on
their suitability in each stage of the workout session. The warm up and cool down categories
consist of songs that have a slower tempo and beat as opposed to those in the other two
categories. Music tempo has physiological effects on one’s body; songs with a faster music
tempo corresponds to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as opposed to slower songs
(Suguna & Deepika, 2017). Once I finalized the song selection, I repeatedly listened to the
playlist for all my gym sessions in the past month to ensure that it has a proper flow and is
1. Taggart, A., & Nyman, C. S. (2016). Inside Out (feat. Charlee) [Recorded by The
Chainsmokers]. On Collage [MP3 file]. New York City, New York: Disruptor
As the playlist begins, the first song plays an essential role in getting the listener to prepare
themselves for a productive workout session. I have selected this song because I am able to
resonate with the lyrics of the song, as I have interpreted the main theme to be self-love.
After having struggled with body image issues and depression in the past, this song brings a
sense of familiarity to me as I would listen to it repeatedly during my journey to recovery.
Familiar songs are found to be able to bring cognitive and emotional benefits (Leubner &
Hinterberger, 2017), which is why it makes me feel good and motivated to exercise. I would
listen to this song on the way to the gym, also reminding me that I workout because I love
myself and my body, not because I hate it.
2. Jones, C., Corput, R. V. D., & Bakker, W. (2014). Young Again (feat. Chris Jones)
[Recorded by Hardwell]. On United We Are [MP3 file]. Breda, Netherlands: Revealed
The second song is used for warming up before exercising, simply consisting of low effort
exercises such as stretching. Warming up is mainly to physically prepare an individual for a
workout, and I have selected a song that I feel would work perfectly hand in hand with the
activity. Murrock and Higgins (2009) gathered that music has the potential to change the
listener’s mood, so the song aims to mentally prepare the listener for the bump up in the
intensity of the upcoming exercises. The song slowly builds up and gets progressively faster
towards the end, which helps build the anticipation and motivation for the listener to work
3. Pournouri, A., Benjamin, G., Feldmann, J., Suecof, J., Furlong, N., & Bergling, T.
(2014). The Nights [Recorded by Avicii]. On The Days/Nights EP [MP3 file]. Santa
Monica, California: Universal Music Group.
The third song is when the real workout begins, and this is displayed through the change in
the tempo and beat of the song. As we transition into the strength and weight training


MUSI20150 Music And Health University of Melbourne


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