Beware ‘Bad Science’ behind (music) diet books.

Julia Jones, who calls herself ‘Dr Rock’, is making extravagant but unsupported claims that ‘highlight the power of music in aiding physical and mental health, particularly for those with dementia.’ What this really means is trying to get non-stop rock music blasted day and night through health centres, hospitals and similar places. She asserts that ‘as a society we have totally forgotten the power of music’ and that as a result we are all miserable. Unquestionably music can be a very useful therapeutic tool when properly used i.e. when it is tailored to each person’s very individual needs and tastes. Pumping hospital wards – or offices – with inescapable music chosen by another person is a totally different matter. Far from being a panacea, as Jones claims, it would for many people be hell on earth and set back most patients’ recovery. It also harms productivity in the workplace even when the music appeals to some people.

Jones has a new book to promote, The Music Diet. Like many diet books, it is based on very flimsy and partial research. Taking it seriously could seriously damage your own and other people’s health. Beware!