- The stress of commuting affects the mental health of more than 168 million passengers every day.
- Studies show that commuting can increase blood pressure and neuroendocrine processes — whereas listening to uplifting music releases dopamine.
- On World Mental Health Day (10th October), Emma’s string quartet surprised passengers on their morning commute with a calming rendition of Blue Danube.
Lisbon, Portugal, October 11th 2023: On World Mental Health Day, Emma — The Sleep Company and the Fragmentos Quartet delighted morning commuters with a surprise rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D major and Johann Strauss II’s famous Blue Danube. The performance was designed to provide passengers with a moment of happiness and relaxation during what can be a stressful time of day, and to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.
Several studies have shown that traveling by bus, car or train increases psychophysiological parameters, such as blood pressure and neuroendocrine processes, indicative of stress. By comparing salivary cortisol samples from days with and without commuting, it has been shown that days without commuting have reduced cortisol levels (i.e. reduced stress). Respondents who travel on crowded public transport experience higher levels of commuting stress, probably due to greater invasion of personal space and cramped, uncomfortable conditions.
“Research shows that listening to uplifting music releases dopamine — a hormone that elicits happy and rewarding feelings into the brain. Listening to upbeat, positive music can help refresh the mind, the body, and help someone to perform better in their daily activities,” said Theresa Schnorbach, Sleep Expert from Emma — The Sleep Company. “As well as playing a role in the morning routine, music can also positively influence the night routine and even improve sleep.”
With the support of Fragmentos Quartet, Emma — The Sleep Company tapped into the power of music to bring happiness and joy to some of Lisbon’s commuters, while simultaneously drawing attention to how mental health affects people’s daily lives. One passenger remarked: “I was really upset earlier, but you’ve made my day. Thank you.”
Click here to watch the video.