WHEN Elton John and Kiki Dee sang Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, little did they know their song could do just that.
Researchers say listening to music you love or hate can have a physical impact on your heart.
A study found playing your favourite songs can increase your blood circulation and give you the same feel-good factor as going to the gym.
Listening to songs considered “joyful” widened blood vessels and encouraged healthy blood flow “previously observed with aerobic activity,” researchers said. The opposite happened when music they didn’t like was played.
Dr Mike Miller, a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in the US, who conducted the research, said: “We know that stress can cause blood vessels to tighten, but we wanted to see if they would open up when music people enjoyed was played.
“We thought we would see an increase in bloodflow in the volunteers, but we didn’t think it would be so high.”
The implicationsof the results are that enjoyable music can promote higher blood flow, which could lead to lower cholesterol, reduced inflammation and lessen the risk of blood clots.
The results also revealed that nitric oxide – a chemical endorphin related to feelings of happiness _was released when the enjoyable music was played.
The British Heart Foundation’s Judy O’Sullivan welcomed the results.
“Relaxation is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and so is good music,” she said.