Ep. 127: The impact of music on wellness and homeostasis, with Patricia Caicedo, M.D., Ph.D.

Wellness and homeostasis

Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

Medical doctor and musicologist Patricia Caicedo authored the new book, We Are What We Listen To: The impact of Music on Individual and Social Health. She explains how music can impact our homeostasis or equilibrium, that optimum state of physical and psychological health.

Patricia Caicedo, M.D., Ph.D. (Photo by Carlos Muñoz)
Patricia Caicedo, M.D., Ph.D. (Photo by Carlos Muñoz)


Joining me today from Barcelona, Spain, is Patricia Caicedo. Patricia is a medical doctor AND has a PhD in musicology. She’s a multifaceted artist-scholar and soprano; she’s a fellow podcaster; has performed in venues worldwide; has recorded eleven CDs; and published 10 books. Her most recent book was published just a few months ago, We Are What We Listen To: The impact of Music on Individual and Social Health.


We discuss:

  • The term “homeostasis” – biologically in medicine, and also personal homeostasis.
  • The National Wellness Institute’s Bill Hettler categorizes wellness into six main dimensions: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational. Wellness is about achieving balance in these six dimensions.
  • The role music plays in each of these dimensions of wellness.
  • How do music and pleasure work in tandem, and what is a “musical orgasm”?!
  • Practical application exercises in the book: The soundtrack of your life (autobiographical exercise); Your essence in music (create songs that express your essence); and Soundscapes (the sounds of your everyday life).

Connect/Other Resources

In-Episode Promo

This is a quick break to tell you about the digital sheet music site I have used for probably a decade! Sheet Music Direct is powered by music publisher Hal Leonard. They have more than a million sheet music arrangements that you can view – and listen to – right from your device for convenient online shopping and immediate downloads of educational, classical, and pop scores representing any genre and holiday. Prices start at $0.99 and you can both print your purchases instantly and access them on any device, which really comes in handy for our family when we’re out of state visiting Grandma & Grandpa, and they want to hear my kids play the piano! Sheet Music Direct has saved me countless hours of driving to music stores and sifting through bins of sheet music and books to find the right song (and hoping the perfect song isn’t out of stock). Access the latest hits and yesterday’s classics at sheetmusicdirect.com.


Patricia shares one of her recent compositions, “La mala suerte” (“The Bad Luck”), set to the words of the poem by Hebe Mongues.

Closing Words

And that is a little bit of “La mala suerte” (“The Bad Luck”) – thank you so much to Patricia for sharing this beautiful song with us today! You can listen to the full song by going to the show notes where we have the YouTube link posted. You’ll also find links to Patricia’s book, We Are What We Listen To: The impact of Music on Individual and Social Health; as well as other ways to connect with her and her work, including her podcast. We referenced some related episodes in our conversation today, and links to those episodes are included, as well. If you’re a regular listener, you may have noticed that there was NOT an episode release last week. I decided to experiment with releasing episodes every OTHER week for a little bit here. With the recent shifts in my job situation and some other things on my plate – all of which I love! – I am just trying to find the right balance. I really missed putting together an episode last week, but it allowed me to do some other projects that I also am devoted to. So, I’ll experiment with this schedule frequency for a bit and see how that goes. One thing that I was doing last week was traveling for work – I was visiting schools in western North Dakota. I had not been to this part of the state before, and it was fun to see the contrast in the scenery – on one of my drives between schools, the scenery was endless prairies where it seemed like you could see miles in any direction. And then suddenly it changed and it looked like the Badlands of SD, with those same formations; it was absolutely gorgeous. And in visiting the different schools, I was struck by the bond and connection that we all seem to have as musicians and music educators and music advocates. No matter what part of the country we are living in or are originally from, there is a real connection that comes from speaking this musical language in common and the same goal in common of making the world a better place through music. Thanks so much for joining me today. All links from today’s episode – including a transcript of this episode – can be found in the show notes. All links are also in the episode details right in your podcast app. While you’re there, I would love to hear from you! Let me know how music impacts YOUR wellness and homeostasis. You can reach me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

View Episode Transcript

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