We all like different genres of music and put on our favorite songs when we want to relax. You don’t always like to listen to the same style of music all the time—if you are doing homework you will probably play something relaxing, if you are at the gym you play something upbeat and fast paced, and at a party you probably listen to rap or electronic music. Music can be considered a natural antidepressant. Certain tunes cause the release of serotonin (a hormone) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain that makes you feel good and happy. It also releases norepinephrine, which is a hormone that invokes feelings of euphoria
Rhythm and tone in music are primarily what causes the change in our emotions. Our hearts sync to the rhythms we listen to. This means that when we listen to slow, sad
music our heartbeat slows down, telling our brains that something sad is happening. When we listen to fast-paced, upbeat music our brains invoke feelings of excitement and energize us. Yuna L. Ferguson, writing for The Journal of Positive Psychology, conducted two experimental studies on trying to become happier with music. She found that “the effect was both self-directed and psychological: participants were told to try to feel happier while either listening to upbeat or neutral music. The upbeat tune listeners came out on top as far as overall impressions of happiness” (bestbinauralbeats.org). If we want to change our mood maybe all we need to do is turn on some good music.
Different types of music are therapeutic to us depending on our mood. If we are experiencing a stressful time, listening to angry-sounding music with an aggressive tone can help us release some of our built up anger. Likewise, when we are feeling sad or unhappy listening to slow, sad music can be beneficial because we relate to the lyrics and feelings associated with the song. Music therapy is a real and recognized service. The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals”. This type of therapy is a natural way for people to become happier while restoring their energy.
There are several ways to control your mood with music. One thing you can do is listen to upbeat music in the morning soon after you wakeup. This gets your brain in an active mode making you feel ready to start the day. Meditating while listening to soothing music can decrease anxiety levels in your body. You should not constantly have music playing in the background all day because eventually your brain will get used to the sounds and not have a significant impact on your mood.
If you pay attention you will notice that music is always playing wherever we go. Stores play music to keep draw customers in and make them stay longer. Doctors offices play soothing music to relax the patients. Sporting events blast music to get fans excited and energized. Music is such a little thing that plays a big role in controlling our mood. If we practice playing the right type of music to fit our emotions we can gain better control over our moods.