Meditation Music: What are the effects of meditation on the brain


It has been some time since meditation has been seen as a religious or exotic practice. It is very common to meet someone who meditates (suddenly you are that person). But why has the practice become so popular? The effects of meditation are related to the improvement of diseases such as depression, stress and anxiety. The practice is even recommended as an alternative treatment for these disorders.

During the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, during which people had to be isolated at home, the World Health Organization (WHO)  pointed out that there was a 27.6% increase in the occurrence of severe depressive disorder and a 25.6% increase in anxiety disorder cases. The search for the practice of meditation increased by 45% in the period of social isolation, which proves people's knowledge about its benefits.

But what is the magic behind this practice? What are the effects of meditation on the brain that make it an interesting alternative for improving mental health? Science already has some answers. But before getting to the answers to these questions, it is necessary to know better the concept of meditation and its benefits for the body and mind.

What is meditation?

If meditation for you is sitting cross-legged and eyes closed, then you've got it right. The practice has some techniques that can vary the posture. But overall, meditation aims to integrate the body and mind. It helps with physical and emotional well-being.

The different types of meditation involve maintaining mental focus on a specific sensation, which could be a breath, a sound, a visual image, or a mantra. Other ways to meditate include the practice of mindfulness, known as mindfulness , which consists of maintaining awareness in the present.

What are the effects of meditation?

The effects of meditation are both physical and emotional. Practice helps in regulating blood pressure, heart rate and blood regulation. It can also relieve pain. Regarding sleep, meditating has proven to be an efficient practice to help those who suffer from insomnia .

Regarding mental health, meditation has proven to be an effective treatment for cases of depression, anxiety and stress. An analysis of participants who suffered from psychiatric disorders compared mindfulness approaches with no treatment and with established treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant medication.

The study, which was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ( NCCIH ), the US government's main agency for scientific research, included more than 12,000 participants. The researchers found that for treating anxiety and depression, mindfulness -based approaches were better than no treatment and worked just as well as evidence-based therapies.

What changes in your brain when you meditate?

The effects of meditation on the brain are still the subject of several studies. Researchers at Harvard University found that changes in brain activity in people who learned to meditate remained stable even when they were not meditating.

Scientists used a type of MRI that took pictures of the brain and recorded brain activity to understand the effects of meditation. The exam also detected changes in brain activation patterns, especially in the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with emotional processes.

Another study also from Harvard showed that mindfulness decreases the volume of brain cells in the amygdala. This change coincided with research participants' reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only alters the brain, it changes our perception of ourselves.

Scientists at the University of Los Angeles have found that people who have been meditating for many years keep their brains better preserved as they age compared to those who are not adept at the practice. Research  participants who had meditated on average for 20 years had more gray matter volume, responsible, in short, for information processing, language and voluntary movement.

Even with all these benefits of meditation for the body and mind, if you already have a health treatment, don't stop it on your own. Depression, anxiety and stress are serious problems that must be monitored by health professionals. Always talk to your doctor.

If you're looking to meditate, here at Persono we haveguided meditations on our YouTube channel that will help you sleep. Hit play and have a good night!


It's a common question, and it's important to note that there is no right, wrong, or single answer.

In general, beginners tend to enjoy relaxing music during meditation. And those who practice regularly may prefer silence. A study in which participants were asked what background sounds they liked during meditation found this.

On the other hand, each person is different. Just because you're a beginner doesn't mean you have to listen to soft zen music during meditation. Even if you have been meditating for years, this does not mean that you always have to meditate without music.

Science supports the positive effects of music on the brain, whether it be spiritual meditation music, Tibetan sounds, or the sound of waves.

A recent study explored this aspect; Observing people listening to their favorite music during fMRI scans, the researchers found that "brain connections known to be involved in internally focused thinking, empathy and self-awareness" lit up.

Of course, this is not to say that you should listen to your favorite pop songs during meditation (although incorporating your favorite tunes into your practice can also have positive effects). Instead, we can appreciate the power that music can have on our brains and consciousness in general.


Yes and no.

Yes, because if you are looking for music made specifically for use during meditation, you can find it. No, because you are also free to find your ideal music to meditate.

Some will claim otherwise, but when it comes to calming music used during meditation, there is no "right or wrong".

But let's talk briefly about some unique music for meditation. This can be a great starting point if you're just starting out.

This type of relaxation music usually has the following points in common4:

                 Smooth and even: Never spikes with loud or shrill moments

                 Slow-moving: Never more than 60 beats per minute

                 It is not melodic: It does not have a "catchy" melody that can distract you

                 This type of music may or may not also incorporate the peaceful sounds of nature - for example, the sounds of:

                 the rain that falls

                 gentle thunder and rain

                 Flowing water in a stream

                 beach waves

                 wind in the trees



Soft, relaxing music played during meditation classes is often ambient and uses electronic instruments. Produces atmospheric music that has no discernible rhythm or tempo.


woman listening to meditation musicSome will say that music is unnecessary for successful meditation. However, putting on calming music (especially when you are just beginning to practice meditation) has several advantages.


If you've never meditated before and you try it in silence right off the bat, silence can sometimes get on people's nerves.

This may actually be biological, as scientists have discovered that the cessation of sound can induce the fear response in mammals. Fortunately, some soft, calm music can help.


Try to notice how often you check the time in your daily life. Most of us like to know what time it is. We want to know how fast time passes. And this is more true when we do a slow and monotonous activity, like meditating.

In this case, slow and relaxing music can be a comfort, as it helps you perceive the passage of time.


Many people won't tell you that meditation can be "boring" just because it doesn't have much stimulation.

I mean, it's not as entertaining as a movie. It's not exciting like an attraction. It doesn't "make you forget" like an attractive book. In fact, it's the opposite. You sit, you don't speak, you don't move (other than a walking meditation), and you are alone with your thoughts.

Now, these seemingly "boring" factors can have fantastic and profound effects on your life. But that's not what we're talking about here.

"Boredom," while part of meditation, shouldn't put you off entirely. It becomes more accessible, and there are moments when you will come to appreciate those moments more than you realize at first.

However, meditative music can ease the transition. It can make the sitting experience more enjoyable and enjoyable. This is especially true for beginners.


This is the key. Many practitioners of meditation use a mantra. It can be a sound, a word or a phrase. It is repeated mentally to maintain concentration in meditation. Mantra means instrument of thought in the ancient Sanskrit language.

Like a mantra, music provides focus for the mind. So when you are a beginning meditator, music can be a very useful tool. Meditation music for children, for example, is in fashion.


Lastly, if you want to use meditation for better sleep, sleep music can be a fantastic tool. Guided sleep meditations often use relaxing music at the end of the sequence to help you gently and slowly fall asleep. This is also great for relieving stress.

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