Part 2. Breathwork and Music: Shared benefits

Emma Uprichard
3 min readMar 15, 2023
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The Brain Loves Sound

If you’ve seen those cute YouTube videos where babies and little children get to hear for the first time (like this one!), you’ll know that the brain loves sound. Sound has been used in various spiritual and healing practices for thousands of years and there is a lot of research about how music, as a particular set of sounds, can affect the physiological responses of the body. Music is said to also stimulate the limbic system in the brain, which is responsible for emotional processing and regulation, memory. The limbic system is closely connected to the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions, including breathing. When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure. So when we listen to music, different chemicals are released, our brain responds, and ultimately the rhythmic sounds can help to regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns, promote relaxation, and reduce stress and anxiety, and facilitate altered states of consciousness.

Music can also act as a queue — a signal of time, where we are in space and what is to come. Breathers will naturally synchronise their breathing with the rhythm of the music, so it can help to bring them together and guide their breathwork a little. This can be especially helpful for individuals who are new to breathwork or who struggle with maintaining a consistent breathing pattern. A slow track or two towards the end also helps the process of returning back to the group, ending the session, and returning to daily life. So music can help in multiple ways and that’s partly why a lot of breathwork includes a soundtrack of sorts to go with it.

Shared Benefits of Breathwork and Music

Both music and breathwork share both powerful tools for promoting health and wellbeing, and there are many shared benefits between the two practices. Here are 7 benefits from both practices:

  1. Stress reduction: Both music and breathwork have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Improved mood: both have the power to elevate our mood and make us feel happier. They can also help us regulate our emotions by providing an outlet for expression. They both release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
  3. Increased cognitive function: both can enhance cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Better sleep: both can improve the quality of sleep and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
  5. Enhanced physical performance: Music and breathwork can both have positive effects on physical health and enhance physical performance. They’ve been shown to increase endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve overall performance. Both can help regulate blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving lung function and promote overall cardiovascular health.
  6. Increased mindfulness: both can both promote mindfulness and present-moment awareness. When we listen to music or practice breathwork, we become more attuned to the present moment, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
  7. Enhanced creativity: Both practices can enhance creativity and promote a sense of flow, clearing the mind and promoting a state of focused attention.

These are just a few of the common benefits. This is not a definitive list.

Continue to Part 3, which looks at the key ingredients that go into creating a breathwork playlist.

Thank you for reading!

To cite this: Uprichard, E. (2023) ‘Part 2. Breathwork and Music: Shared benefits’ Blog on Medium available at

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Emma Uprichard

Academic curious about many things, especially complexity, methods, time, breathwork, and consciousness | Twitter: @EmUprichard; Email: