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Listen to music! Researchers at the University of Utah Pain Research Center measured the effect of music on people who received painful – yet harmless – electrical shocks to their fingertips. The result: Those who focused on the music, and followed the melodies, or concentrated on the lyrics felt less pain than those who weren’t hearing music. The reason? Because music triggers emotional responses and captures people’s attention, which is a distraction. Music also activates sensory pathways to the brain that compete with pain pathways. So fewer pain signals actually get through.

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