Almost everyone I know is stressed.
Almost everyone I know loves music. Especially live music.
Good news! A study has found that attending live music reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol for those who attend concerts!
The connection between the arts and the therapeutic properties continues to intensify with publications such as this study by Fancourt, Daisy, and Aaron Williamson. The researchers took saliva samples of 117 participants before the participants attended a classical music concert looking for the steroid hormones cortisol, cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and testosterone. At the interval an hour later samples were taken again. Researchers found that cortisol levels were reduced across all concert attendees in the sample.
The results indicate lower biological stress for those who attend concerts.
One of the first non-laboratory studies on music and stress hormones, future studies will have to tease out the impact of attending concerts in other music genres and other contextual factors. For example, being in a mosh pit might lead to different outcomes related to stress (i.e., I would find that to be very stressful indeed!). There might be some priming properties of relaxation associated with classical music, or specific factors related to the experience of the concert (rather than the music itself – like your company for the event, concessions, quality of seats, value for money, etc.).
Either way, more research needs to be done, which means attending more concerts. Exciting times to be a researcher!
Check out: Fancourt, D., & Williamon, A. (2016). Attending a concert reduces glucocorticoids, progesterone and the cortisol/DHEA ratio. public health, 132, 101-104. http://researchonline.rcm.ac.uk/31/1/PH16%20v01.pdf