Does music really make you happy?

Music is an essential part of life. It provides culture, it provides a place of escape, it sets the mood for every occasion, and it’s always there for simple entertainment. When I in put my headphones, I drift into another world, taking a step away from reality. If I ever feel angry, I will listen to music to calm down.

Music has been recommended by therapists as a way to cope, for years, because they believe it helps reduce anxiety, pain, and stress; which is why there is such thing as Music Therapy. Doctors, are beginning to believe that Music Therapy in hospitals and nursing homes cause faster healing. In one study by Michael Thaut, found that patients who were victims of stroke, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease and worked with music, were more productive in therapy than those who worked with no music.

According to research found at University of Missouri, people can improve their moods and happiness in just two weeks. In this study, participants were told to try to improve their mood,  and only those who listened to upbeat music as opposed to solemn music succeeded.  Other participants who listened to music without an attempt of bettering their mood, showed no signs of increased happiness. So is it the music that altered the mood? Or is it the attempt of being happy that did it? I think by basing the conclusion off of this study, I can’t say that music is what affects peoples moods. This is true, because there is another role playing in between the change in mood and the music, which is the attempt in trying to change their mood. Those who weren’t told their goal is to increase their happiness didn’t change at all, but those who knew to try and be happier and had the music were successful. If both parties weren’t told to elevate their happiness, then the study might be a bit more convincing.

I believe that, there are different circumstance when it comes to music altering your mood. I believe that if you want to feel better, and you listen to upbeat music, sure you can feel better and if you’re listening to music with no intentions to feel better, you probably wont. I do however believe that music can remind you of a happy or sad place, putting you in a familiar mood without you meaning for that to happen, but it’s not the music it’s the memory that is altering your mood.



My sources:

7 thoughts on “Does music really make you happy?

  1. Andrea Marie Linn

    I always resort to music if I’m stressed, but in reality I’m always listening to music. It helps me past the time and keeps me motivated. I think it depends on the music you listen to. If you are sad and continue to listen to sad songs, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Listen to happy, up-beat music to get your mind off the hard times and focus on the positive things in life!

  2. Megan Margaret Moyer

    I always know that when I’m having a bad day or I’m not in the greatest mood, I can put on some music to change my mood. I think music has many great benefits and is an awesome tool. Studies show that music therapy benefits children with autism, and I’ve seen this first hand with my cousins. For more information related to this topic, check it out this link:

  3. Chelsea Jaye Silbiger

    I have always been someone who is able to listen to music as a way to get my mind off of a stressful topic. I was surprised to read about the study you notes in your blog. It is amazing to think that after only “two weeks” music was able to improve people’s mood.

  4. Marni Leigh Silver

    The topic of music improving and assisting with the healing/process of some diseases has become much more popular over the last few years. With the increase of research in this area, more information has also been found as to what sounds or specific rhythms cause certain reactions in the brain. More information about this can be found here

Leave a Reply