Music listening and stress recovery in healthy individuals: A systematic review with meta-analysis of experimental studies
Number of pages
SourcePLoS One, 17, 6, (2022), article e0270031
18 april 2022
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
SW OZ BSI KLP
PI Group Affective Neuroscience
Subject230 Affective Neuroscience; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Work, Health and Performance
Effective stress recovery is crucial to prevent the long-term consequences of stress exposure. Studies have suggested that listening to music may be beneficial for stress reduction. Thus, music listening stands to be a promising method to promote effective recovery from exposure to daily stressors. Despite this, empirical support for this opinion has been largely equivocal. As such, to clarify the current literature, we conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized, controlled experimental studies investigating the effects of music listening on stress recovery in healthy individuals. In fourteen experimental studies, participants (N = 706) were first exposed to an acute laboratory stressor, following which they were either exposed to music or a control condition. A random-effects meta-regression with robust variance estimation demonstrated a non-significant cumulative effect of music listening on stress recovery g = 0.15, 95% CI [-0.21, 0.52], t(13) = 0.92, p = 0.374. In healthy individuals, the effects of music listening on stress recovery seemed to vary depending on musical genre, who selects the music, musical tempo, and type of stress recovery outcome. However, considering the significant heterogeneity between the modest number of included studies, no definite conclusions may currently be drawn about the effects of music listening on the short-term stress recovery process of healthy individuals. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
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