Tips from CAPS: Music and mental health

By Estenia Elisevich, LLMSWwoman listening to headphones with rainbow music design

With midterms in full swing, symptoms of stress can be a daily experience. This can be true at any point of the school year, of course.

Music is a quick and easy way to calm your mind. Music has been linked to increasing learning, reducing stress, improving memory, boosting motivation and lifting mood. So reach for your headphones and let your mind relax.

4 tips on music and mental health

  1. Be intentional
    Pick a playlist or genre that will help you achieve your desired mood. For example, if you want to soothe your mind, try slower tempo tunes. If you want to increase your awareness and concentration, faster music may be right for you.
  2. Create a pre-test playlist
    Exams are naturally stressful. Creating a pre-test playlist with relaxing music could help lower your psychobiological stress system. Note: Research suggests that music around 60 beats per minute is ideal for relaxation.
  3. Reinforce your learning
    Music has strong ties to our emotions. Research shows that people who listened to pleasurable music while learning improved in accuracy and reaction time when recalling new material.
  4. Boost your motivation
    Need a boost to get active? Cue up a fast-paced playlist to get moving! Keep in mind that physical activity can help decrease stress-related symptoms.

Music can:student listening to music

  • Increase cognitive performance
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve memory
  • Boost motivation
  • Lift mood

YouTube sights and sounds:

TEDTalk: How Music Can Heal Our Brain and Heart

LoFi HipHop Radio - Beats to Relax/Study To

12 Hours of Relaxing Piano Music

It's easy to get started with CAPS!

WSU Applebaum offers dedicated Counseling and Psychological Services support to students on a group or individual basis. WSU Applebaum students can reach out directly at 313-577-3243 or If you need help after hours or on the weekend, call CAPS at 313-577-9982. You can also visit and complete the initial consultation form, making sure to note that you are an EACPHS student.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

Return to news