Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t Worry, Be Healthy”
Bobby McFerrin is a 10-time Grammy Award winner, but best known for his smash laid-back hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” The song caught the attention of the entire country in the last 1980’s with McFerrin using his voice and parts of his body as “instruments” for the entire song. Bobby has been performing music all his life, it’s literally been a comfort for him. In fact, he believes that music itself is healing.
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“When I was a kid, my mother took music [as a healer] literally,” McFerrin explained. “When we got sick, she’d put us to bed and put music on to make us feel better. Even now, if I’m getting ready for a concert and I have a headache or I’m worried about something, I can usually sing my way through it. When I come off stage, I feel better.”
“From a psychological evaluation, we found that classical music tends to cause comfort. This is because the sympathetic nerve is suppressed by the sound of classical music,” noted Dr. Umemura Honda, in a medical journal article entitled, “Influence of music on heart rate variability and comfort — a consideration through comparison of music and noise”.
Music also was found to reduce stress in patients undergoing cerebral angiography. In a study of 30 patients, two doctors from Hannover Medical School’s Department of Neuroradiology monitored stress hormones, blood pressure and heart beat. They found that the patients who were not exposed to music “showed rising levels of cortisol in their blood, indicating high stress levels, while cortisol in patients examined with music remained stable. Blood pressure was significantly lower listening to music.”