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How Nostalgic Music is Good for Your Health and Wellbeing

Home > Melbourne > Music | Seniors | Health and Fitness | Free | Classical Music
by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published May 5th 2020
Increase your heart rate, dance around the house to music
Oh, I do lose count of how many times my children have scoffed at my love of old-time music. Yet, the first time they heard 'Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps' on 'Dancing with the Stars' they went nuts. "Wow, what a cool song, where can we get it?" I said, "From Doris Day, from the 1960s". They didn't believe me.

Volunteers in Community Radio
Volunteers in community radio


But my best secret is that you can improve your health and feeling of wellbeing by listening to nostalgic and easy listening music. I have always felt this way, but recently I stumbled onto a study where people spent more than ten minutes, twice a day, recalling positive memories while listening to nostalgic music. They recorded that they all felt a marked lift of their spirits and better memory.

Community Radio Broadcasting from local community events
Community radio broadcasting from Lilydale Festival


After only one week of the study, the participants felt a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness and even improvements in their blood work tests. There were also several studies reporting on the benefits of musical therapy on Alzheimer's patients.

And did you know that stroke victims who cannot talk, can sing, and they have had miraculous improvements after joining choirs? This moves most of the people at the concerts to tears.

As a radio presenter myself, I can receive over twenty calls over a two-hour show, telling me how much they are enjoying the music and how it has sparked wonderful old memories of their lives and how uplifted and happy they feel.

Pilot of the airways interviews Mondo Rock Gil Matthews
Pilot of the airways interviews Mondo Rock's Gil Matthews


One listener rang to tell me how the song I played reminded her of her wedding and husband, and how she had cut a sixpence in half (illegally) and they both carried it their whole lives. Her husband is even buried with his.

And this is just one of the thousands of calls I get of appreciation for older style music. One family's 80-year-old grandfather actually won the Bert Newton Talent Show and had his two songs recorded. I play it every few months, and he and his family call in excitement and pride about how happy it makes him.

Presenters across the sector entertaining
Presenters across the sector entertaining


Just think about how many new rock and roll gods and goddesses have then reverted to record "crooners" songs. This music is age-old, timeless, but still brilliant. Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, David Campbell, Michael Bublé, the list goes on and on ...

From anecdotal evidence, it seems that old-time radio helps those with Alzheimer's disease or memory issues. Many patients can recall long term memories after listening to nostalgic radio. It helps them access positive memories.

One lovely lady reported her mum with memory impairment was able to recall the exact details of her favourite radio episode - even the punch lines!

Passionate People reaching out with Music
Passionate people reaching out via radio


Another person said his aunt enjoyed old time radio show so much, that the nursing staff noticed how it was benefiting her and asked management if they could share it throughout the rest of the ward. They are still doing it today.

I have one lovely couple, who have had to split up so her husband can go into private care, phone to say, he was so excited because they had organised a radio for him, so he could listen to his favourite community radio station.

Most people with memory impairment, who are feeling confused and isolated as they get older, still need companionship and love. Community radio reaches out to these people and triggers old joy and feelings of happiness.

There are over 126 community radio stations across Victoria - all run by volunteers who are passionate about bringing music and local information to people and helping them feel less alone. Especially at this time with COV-19, these stations are a vital lifeline for many in social isolation.

These are just a few I feel are some of the best in Melbourne's outer east.

Casey Radio 97.7 FM - It is brilliant!
Radio Eastern 98.1 FM - Nostalgic, easy listening all ages and genres.
106.7 FM PBS - Great jazz at a minimum.
Light FM 89.9 - Spiritual.
3MDR 97.1 FM - Lots of local Australian content.

So either put your radio on scan and find the perfect station, or go here to find out about your new favourite radio station.
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Why? You love how listening to music makes you feel
When: 24 hours a day
Where: Victoria
Cost: FREE
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