Three Effective Ways to Nurture Our Brain Physical Activity, Healthy Nutrition, and Music. A Review

Published In

European Psychologist

Document Type


Publication Date



A growing body of research suggests that physical activity, healthy eating, and music can, either directly or indirectly, have positive effects on our brain and cognition. More specifically, exercising and eating seem to enhance cognitive abilities, such as memory, creativity, and perception. They also improve academic performance and play a protective role from many degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Concerning music, research has shown that there exists a general positive relation between music aptitude and cognitive functioning. Furthermore, the presence of music seems to create a positive mood and a higher arousal, which translates into better performance in many cognitive tasks. This literature review provides an overview of the major empirical findings in this domain. Studies on both healthy and clinical individuals are reviewed and discussed. We conclude with suggestions for educators, policymakers, people in helping professions, and any others interested in making informed decisions about possible ways to nurture their own brain or the brain of the people they are trying to help. We also provide suggestions for additional research on this important topic.



Persistent Identifier