In this paper, we propose a variationally consistent technique for decreasing the maximum eigenfrequencies of structural dynamics related finite element formulations. Our approach is based on adding a symmetric positive-definite term to the mass matrix that follows from the integral of the traction jump across element boundaries. The added term is weighted by a small factor, for which we derive a suitable, and simple, element-local parameter choice. For linear problems, we show that our mass-scaling method produces no adverse effects in terms of spatial accuracy and orders of convergence. We illustrate these properties in one, two and three spatial dimension, for quadrilateral elements and triangular elements, and for up to fourth order polynomials basis functions. To extend the method to non-linear problems, we introduce a linear approximation and show that a sizeable increase in critical time-step size can be achieved while only causing minor (even beneficial) influences on the dynamic response.