At weekends, I love to run, singing along to my favorite songs.  Music helps keep me motivated, even through cold winters with ice on my eyelids. Music is like mind medicine. It can change our mood, get us singing and dancing, help us unwind … but did you know it can also boost our creativity?

  • Music can reduce stress levels and help us relax. When relaxed, we are more likely to find creative solutions as our minds wander and bounce between thoughts.
  • Listening to a song we like triggers our brain to release dopamine which is linked to improved concentration, positive emotions and enhanced memory … helping those creative juices flow.
  • Hearing a song from the past can be a powerful memory aid that helps us spark new ideas.

One of my favorite true stories showing how music brings back memories is the story of Henry, who lives in a nursing home. Henry suffers from Alzheimer’s and over the years has become more unresponsive. Then one day he’s given a headset and his favorite music. His transformation is worth watching in this 3 min YouTube video of Henry  … he lights up, starts singing along and moving to the music. When his headset is removed, it’s like he has reacquired his identity for a while as he talks enthusiastically about his past, recalling memories through the music.

When I run Ideation sessions, I’ll often use music, not just as background at breaks, but as stimulus for ideas. It’s particularly effective on “mind excursion” exercises, when we’ll use evocative music to enhance the visualization (eyes closed) and make deeper associations.

Music truly is medicine for the mind … and a creativity booster.

Has music helped you come up with ideas? Please share your story in the comments section below …