Music May Provide a Clinically Significant Boost to Mental Health

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a broad concept capturing “an individual’s or group’s perceived physical and mental health over time.” 

Listening to and making music (eg, by singing or playing instruments) is increasingly advocated, including in a recent World Health Organization report, as a means of improving HRQOL as well as various domains of well-being in clinical and healthy populations.

Optimal music intervention types and doses for specific scenarios are still unclear, precluding the formulation of evidence-based music prescriptions.

In a recently published study, researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the question: Are music-making and listening interventions associated with positive changes in health-related quality of life? 

Study Results 

The team included a total of 26 studies, including a total of 779 participants and found that music interventions, such as music listening, music therapy, singing and gospel music, were associated with significant improvements in meaningful conversation scores (MCS).

The addition of music to standard treatment for a range of conditions was associated with significant improvements in MCS scores vs standard treatment alone. 

The results suggest that associations between music interventions and clinically significant changes in HRQOL are demonstrable in previous studies, and that music may provide a clinically significant boost to mental health. 


J. Matt McCrary, et al. Association of Music Interventions With Health-Related Quality of Life

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(3):e223236. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3236 

Image from: 

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash