Neurologically Based ‘Music For Medicine’ Helps Stressed-Out Medical Staff and Caregivers Recover Along with Patients

International musicians Donna Stoering and Erin Nolan

SALT LAKE CITY — The global foundation Listen For Life has spent the past two years developing, donating and distributing a neurologically based way to help COVID-19 patients and others in hospitals, hospice centers and care facilities around the world, through the healing power of intentionally created music. But rather like the story of Post-it Notes, they recently discovered another urgent benefit to their unique program: helping to heal the psychologically overwhelmed and exhausted caregivers and medical staff who are resigning in droves due to a basic need for self-preservation and emotional recovery.

Listen For Life founder Donna Stoering and her team are now trying to alert every medical professional, hospital staff member and caregiver that this new “music-for-medical-healing” program exists, and is immediately available to them and their patients, free of charge. It’s being offered as a way to help combat the stress and anxiety they encounter on a daily basis, and hopefully reduce staff resignations, while also helping their patients of all ages, in all types of care facilities.

Recently, Listen For Life’s Music For Medicine project was among the 2022 finalists announced by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) for its inaugural Anthem Awards, which “celebrate the purpose and mission-driven work of individuals, companies and organizations worldwide.” Music For Medicine was selected as a not-for-profit finalist in the global Health Services category, with winners to be announced at the Anthem Voices virtual conference on Feb. 15.

The Music For Medicine project began in 2020, after Ms. Stoering, a world-renowned classical musician, learned that a leading U.S. neurologist was seeking a way to deliver a specific type of relaxing music close to the ears of his ICU patients being treated for COVID-19. His purpose was to help steady and entrain their breathing while also blocking out the noise of the constant beeping of hospital monitors and nonstop ICU activity; preventing neurological damage from the effects of the noise, anxiety, exhaustion and isolation, for both patients and medical staff.

Ms. Stoering had already recorded a collection of stress-relieving classical music improvisations titled Into the Stillness with another international musician, Erin Nolan. Fortunately, the musical structure of the audio tracks was found to be within the precise parameters for producing the desired health outcomes. At the encouragement of neurologists and clinical care nurses, Listen for Life began donating and distributing the recordings via digital downloads, CDs and special wireless mp3 players (placed on patients’ pillows) for use with COVID-19 patients and others in ICUs, hospital wards, respiratory therapy, stroke rehab, nursing homes, at-home recovery, and palliative care or hospice situations. They continue to donate and distribute these resources to any medical staff/facility or caregiver wanting to use them, and have made the Into The Stillness audio tracks available for this purpose online at

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback and our goal is to share this resource with everyone who needs it,” said Ms. Stoering. “Neurologists have found that our bodies and brains are wired to respond to music, and that specific combinations of melodies and rhythms can affect our blood pressure and heart rate or produce changes in our mood and behavior. The music we’re sharing is kept within distinct parameters to reduce tension and anxiety, lower blood pressure, promote regular breathing patterns, and assist in the treatment of PTSD and mental health issues. We’ve received reports of specific benefits to stroke victims, premature babies and respiratory therapy patients, and moving testimonials from hospice caregivers. Now, we also encourage medical staff and caregivers to use this gift to help recover from the daily stress and exhaustion they face.”

Donna Stoering and Erin Nolan have recently recorded a second, follow-up album of neurologically tested, instrumental improvisations titled Quieting the Storm. Listen For Life will soon be releasing this new album and additional albums/tracks performed by specially selected musicians of different countries, cultures and instrumental styles, in a new digital library of “music-for-medical-healing” to benefit more people worldwide. Visit for project updates and testimonials.

“When my husband had a cardiac arrest last year, he spent a week as a patient in a regional medical center in Florida until he passed away,” said nationally known critical-care nurse and educator, Joan Vitello-Cicciu, who worked as a nurse for 45 years and is currently Dean and Professor of the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. “I would sit by his bedside, and when he became agitated I played this CD I had just received from Listen For Life. By the fourth song, my husband had calmed down. I noticed that when his nurses and hospital staff came into the room they all remarked how soothing this particular music was to them. While my husband spent his last few days on earth, I was blessed to have had this particular music available to him and the staff as it was calming and restorative to us as human beings. I would highly recommend it for patients and staff, in any hospital or medical facility.”

Healthcare professionals, medical facility administrators, hospice center workers or caregivers who wish to request a donation of currently available digital tracks, CDs or preloaded, disinfectable mp3 players for immediate use, are invited to contact Donna Stoering at [email protected].

Potential distribution partners, individual donors and corporate sponsors interested in being a part of this critically important and timely project are also urged to contact Ms. Stoering.

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