Sound can affect both our physical and mental health, said Nina Kraus, a neurobiologist at Northwestern University and the author of “Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World.”

“It’s underrecognized because it’s invisible.” Dr. Kraus added. For example, few people realize how much background noise — an air-conditioner or a leaf blower — can affect how we feel, she said.

Dr. Kraus said a number of systems within the body play a role in how we process sound, affecting how we think, how we feel and how we move. Sound is also deeply linked to memory, she said, so it may affect you emotionally and psychologically.

The practice of sound healing, including sound baths, has not been widely studied. But limited research does suggest it may provide some benefits, at least in the moment.

In an observational study of 62 people, participants scored lower on a scale designed to measure feelings of anxiety and depressed mood after one singing bowl meditation than they did before the session. Dr. Goldsby, who was the lead author of that study, added that some participants reported less tension after the session, and that effect was greater for those who hadn’t tried sound meditation before.

One small randomized trial of 74 undergraduate students found that those who did a 30-minute meditation with didgeridoo music felt more relief from anxiety and acute stress than those who did a silent meditation. Another suggested sound-based treatment could be an useful relaxation tool for people who occasionally feel anxious.

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