Music is connected to so much of our personal and interpersonal lives. You may listen to music in solitude during many of your daily activities - using headphones while working out, playing a record in your home while relaxing, or enjoying a playlist on a drive. However, listening to music with your partner is a great way to explore each other’s interests, share old memories, and set the mood for a variety of activities, from road trips to romance.
We’ve put together a playlist for couples over the age of 55, full of romantic love songs from way back when. Discover our playlist below and read on to learn more about the benefits music can have on our relationships and our own health.
Listening To Music Together Strengthens Your Bond
When a couple shares a positive moment together, it can strengthen their bond by experiencing positive feelings it brings at the same time. While listening to, dancing to, or even playing music together, co-experiencing an audible rhythm can create a sense of synchronization between you and your partner.
Songs can be tied to certain moments from your past, like a wedding song or songs you grew up listening to. When you listen to these songs together, you’re able to share in the love you have for the song while evoking positive and happy memories from many years ago. Even more, listening to favorite songs from your past stimulates the pleasure circuit of the brain. This can trigger the release of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and other shots of neurochemicals, creating a positive sense of satisfaction.1 For couples who may be struggling to get along or find that “spark” again, listening to music in this way could be a great option to help you move forward.
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Music can also help you get in “the mood” together. The smart speaker system, Sonos, conducted a study which found that 67% of couples that listen to music out loud together report having more sex per week than couples who don’t. Why may that be? When you dance or move to music, your neurons synchronize to the beat of the song. When you move to music together, your neurons synchronize at the same rate, in turn releasing oxytocin. This hormone, named “the love hormone” elicits feelings of trust and safety, laying the foundation for intimacy between the two of you.
Heart Health & Listening to Music
Not only does listening to music trigger dopamine release in the brain, which helps us feel engaged, motivated, and positive, it also can be good for your heart. And what’s good for your heart is good for your relationship, too!
A 2009 study evaluated the effect that music played out loud has on patients' relaxation levels during their first day of bed rest after undergoing open-heart surgery. It found that patients who were provided with relaxing music experienced increased relaxation and levels of oxytocin increased significantly, compared to patients who were not played any music.2 Additionally, according to St. Lukes Health, listening to music may provide health benefits, and has “been shown to improve blood vessel function, help heart rate and blood pressure levels return to baseline more quickly after physical exertion, ease anxiety in heart attack survivors, and help people recovering from heart surgery feel less pain and stress.”
Relationships come with many challenges and stress factors which, if not properly managed, can have negative impacts on your bond as well as your overall health. Listening to music is a great way to reduce stress together, while doing something positive for your heart health.
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Add Some Music to Your Romance
More than just setting the mood in the bedroom, listening to these love songs together can be a great way to rekindle your spark, connect over shared memories, and help create some positive feelings between the two of you. While you both enjoy some romance, your heart health and mind can benefit, too, and that’s a win-win for everyone!
- Percy Sledge - When a Man Loves a Woman
- Marvin Gaye - Let’s Get It On
- Aretha Franklin - [You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman
- Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole - Unforgettable
- The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
- Elvis Presley - Can’t Help Falling in Love
- Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong - Dream a Little Dream of Me
- Frank Sinatra - It Had to Be You
- The Four Aces - Love is a Many-Splendored Thing
- Dean Martin - Everybody Loves Somebody
- Sam Cooke - You Send Me
- Nat King Cole - Tenderly
- Everly Brothers - All I have to Do is Dream
- Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
- Tony Bennett - The Way You Look Tonight
- Billie Holiday - All of Me
- Ray Charles - I Can’t Stop Loving You
- The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
- Perry Como - Magic Moments
- Nancy Wilson - Save Your Love For Me
- Otis Redding - I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
- Smokey Robinson - You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me
- They Stylistics - You Are Everything
- The Five Satins - In the Still of the Night
- The Penguins - Earth Angel
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
1 Stern, M.J. (2014, August 12). Neural nostalgia: Why do we love music we heard as teenagers? The Slate Group. https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/musical-nostalgia-the-psychology-and-neuroscience-for-song-preference-and-the-reminiscence-bump.html
2 Nilsson U. Soothing music can increase oxytocin levels during bed rest after open-heart surgery: a randomised control trial. J Clin Nurs. 2009 Aug;18(15):2153-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02718.x. PMID: 19583647.