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Music, Aromatherapy and Anxiety



May marks NZ Music Month, so let’s have a quick look at the healing effects of music and aromatherapy on our wellbeing through the lens of a 2019 South Korean study involving nursing students.


The study assessed nursing students’ stress and anxiety during exam season and the effect of aromatherapy and music therapy. Split into three groups, the nursing students received either aromatherapy, music therapy, or a combination of both aromatherapy and music therapy.


Administered for 20 minutes before the students’ tests, the therapies comprised of a 1:1 ratio of Sweet Marjoram and Sweet Orange essential oils through an aroma lamp, and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.


The study concluded that whilst both therapies alone helped reduce the nursing students’ anxiety and depression to some degree, the combination of music and aromatherapy proved to have the greatest impact on mitigating anxiety and depression and enhancing exam performance of their fundamental nursing skills.


Now that we know the results of this study, let’s explore the oils used.

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)


Sweet Marjoram (Origanum Majorana), a member of the mint family, Sweet Marjoram is a warm, slightly spicy and woody oil with a comforting hint of sweetness. It’s reminiscent of Nutmeg and Cardamon, and is known for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety and promote relaxation. This oil can help alleviate pain, and muscle tension, help relieve cramps and can be useful in treating insomnia. Its primary components, terpinene-4-ol and linalool, are known for their sedative and anti-anxiety effects.

You can purchase Perfect Potion’s Sweet Marjoram here.


Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis), a fresh citrus scent that evokes warmth and joy. It’s a cheerful, uplifting and energising scent that is known to relieve stress, tension, anxiety, and depression. Sweet orange can help reduce inflammation and pain and promote relaxation – making it another oil that may help with insomnia. Its high limonene is what makes this essential oil so uplifting and mood-enhancing.

You can purchase Perfect Potion’s Sweet Orange here.


Both oils were perfect for this study. Lavendar, Bergamot, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang or Frankincense could have also been included and likely would have garnered similar, if not the same, results.


We can all remember the stress and anxiety felt before sitting papers during our education, many adults have recurring dreams (or nightmares) over school deadlines and tests long into their adulthood, decades after finishing education. But with this study, we can further understand the importance of aromatherapy and music therapy, as the great tools they are in our overall health and wellbeing.

by Hollie Taylor