Longtime readers of this publication know that we often espouse the proven health benefits of conversation and listening to music. But did you know that the simple act of silence can be equally beneficial?

A growing body of research says our background music, podcast obsessed lifestyles are doing our health no favors.

Let’s dig into why dialing down the noise offers surprising benefits for the body and mind. And then, we’ll provide some real-world tips on how to set the mute button on the cacophony of life.

Next time you plug in your earbuds or crank up the car radio, consider this…

Silence has been found to stimulate brain growth.

New Brain Cells are Born

A 2013 study published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used different types of noise and silence and monitored the effect each had on the brains of mice.2 Interestingly, the silence was set up as the control in the study, but what the researchers found was surprising…

The team found that a minimum of two hours of silence could result in the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus region, which is linked to learning, memory, and recall.

Now, this study was conducted on rodents and there’s no guarantee that we humans will experience the same benefits, but the results are such that it is certainly worth exploring the effects of silence on brain health further. And silence doesn’t just impact your brain…

Your Heart Loves Silence

High blood pressure, or hypertension, has been dubbed the “silent killer” for a good reason.

That’s because, without any symptoms, high blood pressure can lead to a host of deadly problems, including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.3

So, it’s not surprising that the latest research shows one way to tame this silent killer is… silence!

One study found that a short two-minute period of silence after listening to music significantly reduced participants’ heart rate and blood pressure. 4

Equally impressive, silence came out on top with greater heart benefits than listening to relaxing music, when the two were compared for their impact on important heart health measures.

Silence Promotes Focus

There’s a reason that university libraries don’t have music blaring in the background. But even if you aren’t studying for a college exam, silence can help your brain better focus on the task at hand.

That task could include navigating through a crowded city, problem-solving in the workplace, or simply planning a busy day.

In a recent study, 59 people performed tasks that required concentration. One group worked in silence, while the other had background noise or speech.5

Who did the best? You guessed it, the folks who worked in silence experienced the least cognitive load and the lowest stress levels.

And, you don’t need a study to tell you that a little quiet time can help beat down the stressors of the day and even boost your creativity.

How to Enjoy the Sounds of Silence

Here are a few tips for getting more silence in your life. (Hint: you don’t need a formal meditation practice.)

  • Wake up before the rest of your household.
  • Enjoy your morning coffee or tea without a device or even reading material.
  • Next time you go for a walk, leave your device behind and enjoy the sounds of nature.
  • Make your car a sanctuary of silence – at least some of the time. Long commutes are ideal for quiet time.

I’m sure you can brainstorm and find other ways to inject more silence into your day. It can be challenging—especially if you’re around your children or grandkids— but in the end, there’s a reason they say silence is golden: The health benefits are endless.

Author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra sums it up beautifully: “There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that comes from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321019#_noHeaderPrefixedContent 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4087081/ 
  3. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/high-blood-pressure-the-silent-killer
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1860846/ 
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32805749/