Study shows listening to music helped the UK through lockdown

Image Credit: Simon Abrams

Research from the BPI reveals music lifted the moods of 94% of people feeling stressed in a year of restrictions and lockdowns.

Music offered a much-needed escape for people in the UK during the 2020 lockdowns, with more people listening to music than beforehand. The British public turned to music to alleviate stress, help them sleep better, and for a boredom-buster. A study from the BPI, the UK record labels association, officially shows the positive impact music had on listener’s moods as the pandemic began to restrict their lives.

The results of the survey demonstrate the comfort to be found in listening to music. When asked why music proved to be so important to them during lockdown, 50% responded that they listened to raise their spirits. Almost everyone who turned to music to lessen their feelings of anxiety said that it helped to make them feel less stressed – a total of 94%.

With society restricted, more people in the UK turned to music. Over a quarter of those surveyed by the BPI said their listening habits had increased compared to before the first national lockdown – only 11% had listened to less music or none at all.

The relaxing effect of hearing music is highlighted in the report, with 42% acknowledging that music helped them to relax or get to sleep. Meanwhile 40% of respondents said music was a key factor in lessening boredom.

In what is no doubt a result of enforced remote learning, those in the 16-24 year-old age bracket turned to music the most with just under half saying they listened to more music in lockdown. 50% of that group also used music to help them concentrate whilst working or studying.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “Music has many intrinsic additional benefits, not least in raising spirits and promoting wellbeing, but this new research underscores just how much of a lifeline it’s been for people since lockdown – inspiring and reassuring us and also helping many of us to work, study and exercise to greater effect. The transformational power of music to improve lives has rarely been more pronounced.”

The full findings of the study will be published in the BPI’s Yearbook, “All About the Music 2021” on April 14. The yearly report explores consumer trends in the UK music business, this year based on data commissioned by AudienceNet’s November 2020 Audiomonitor survey.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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