8 reasons why playing guitar is good for your mental health

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4. It can future-proof your brain

We’ve all seen those stats about brain decline in later life, but did you know that playing guitar can boost your grey matter? Early brain scan studies show that learning to play the guitar, among other musical instruments, not only increases grey matter volume in various regions of the brain, but it strengthens the long-range connections between them. 

Sharper brain function can also help protect you against mental decline in your later years. As an added bonus, a dual study conducted by the Mind-Body Wellness Center and Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems shows that playing guitar can also reduce stress. André Axell of The Great Discord certainly feels this: “A shitty day can get significantly better just by sitting down, plugging in and getting lost for a while.”

Paul McManus of Music For All also believes in the future-proofing benefits of playing guitar. “We see more and more people either returning to playing music in later life or even starting for the first time. Making music is a great ‘anti-ageing’ tool as it helps with coordination, concentration and memory.”

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Don’t underestimate how much of a wellness boost you can get from being around like-minded people

5. Playing guitar strengthens your support network...

...if you play in a band or jam regularly with other people. Don’t underestimate how much of a wellness boost you can get from being around like-minded people. Playing guitar with others can also, in time, lead to new friendships and a richer social life. 

Rachel Boyd, Information Manager for mental health charity Mind, says that, “Music can also be something we share with friends and family. Social activities can be good for our wellbeing in general, and can strengthen our support networks. Getting together with others who share a passion for music can be a great way to connect, whether that’s listening to music, studying, discussing or playing it.”