Effects of preferred relaxing music after acute stress exposure: A randomized controlled trial

In daily contexts, coping with stressful events involves a great level of personal resources to recover baseline conditions efficiently, a process called stress recovery. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of an intervention based on preferred relaxing music on the recovery after stress exposure. We also analyzed the effect of gender on stress recovery. Fifty-eight undergraduates underwent a paradigm of laboratory-based stress induction and were randomly assigned to either the control or the experimental group. The recovery period included either silent resting (control group) or listening to their preferred music to become relaxed (experimental group) for 15 minutes. Cardiovascular measures and self-reported emotional states were monitored across the stress induction and recovery stages. Participants in the experimental group exhibited higher levels of heart-derived high frequency power, and greater sample entropy in the recovery period. They also showed lower levels of self-reported states of anxiety, depression, and negative affect, as well as greater levels of positive affect. Gender-related differences were also found during recovery for both cardiovascular and selfreported measures. To conclude, interventions based on preferred relaxing music allow promotion of a healthier recovery and improve affective state after acute stress exposure considering differential outcomes according to gender.

Full Article (PDF)  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735617689953#.WPFLMXYX9yE.wordpress

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