A study has revealed that listening to music while doing exercise not only helps to keep you motivated but can massively improve your mood. 

People commonly wear headphones during a weights session, on a run or while out on a bike ride, so they can set their pace to the beat of the music, but scientists found there are also clear benefits to mental wellbeing. 

They claim that the sound of music in your ears while you push your body to burn off a few calories can improve mood and cognitive function. 


Researchers from the University of Tsukuba assessed the mood of 33 young adults immediately after they finished exercising. 

They either listened to music or a series of beeps. 

As well as being graded on a ‘mood scale’, they also conducted a brain task to see how the period of exertion impacted their cognitive performance.  

The results found that those who listened to music were in a better mood and performed better in the brain task.   

‘Exercise with music elicited greater enhancement of a positive mood (vitality) than did exercise with beeps,’ the researchers write in the study. 

Previous research has found exercise increases activity in a specific part of the brain called the dorsolateral part of the prefrontal cortex (DLPFC).

It is known this region of the brain, when activated, results in improved executive performance. 

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‘We found significant associations between a positive mood induced by exercise with music, improved executive performance and increased activation in the l-DLPFC,’ the researchers write. 

‘This is the first study to suggest that exercise-induced positive mood has an impact not only on future physical activity, but also on the cognitive benefits of exercise.’

The findings are published in the journal Neuroscience.