Does the type of music you listen to affect your mood?

Have you ever noticed when people are sad they like to listen to sad music?  And when people are in a really great mood they put on some dancing music to dance their heart out?  This is something people do in everyday life.  If you love music like I love music, you know this is exactly what you do.  But can the music actually affect your mood? Here’s what I found:


Listening to the blues & reggae can actually make you less nervous

I am a person who is constantly anxious.  I used to try to listen to calming music, like slow music, but most of the time it would end up being sad music, which is not what I wanted.  According to, the blues can actually slow down your fast-beating heart a little.  This also applies if you are angry about something and you listen to reggae.  Reggae is known as relaxing music to help calm you down a little.

Rock & classical music can change your average mood to a great one

If you are tired and a little down, putting on some old punk music can take you back to the good old days, giving you a nice energy boost!  Always a plus.  I was pretty mind blown myself finding out that classical music could boost one’s mood.  I always thought of classical as calming and relaxing.  Turns out, it can actually increase brain power.

Heavy metal does not always put one in an aggressive mood

Heavy metal has seen to increase people’s self-esteem, but Iowa State University did a study and found that heavy metal could give anti-social feelings.  Some studies say heavy metal helps people deal with stressful situations.  It can either cause violent feelings or relaxed feelings, depending on each individual separately.

Country has actually been seen to cause depression

Even suicide.  Most of the lyrics in country songs are sad.  So even if you are in a good mood, just putting on a country song can sadden you.  Although they are sad, people can relate.  Especially if these songs are about heartbreak, people can listen and feel the singer’s pain.

Broadway music is inspiring

It makes sense.  I am from New York City, and I always used to go to Broadway plays in the city. I left every play inspired and wanting to change the world.  The music floats through your body and the words speak to you.  These singers are also amazingly talented, so much that you feel the tingling in your bones.  Who wouldn’t leave a play like that inspired?

This is mostly common sense, but there needs to be more studies on it.  One study looked at people who were given happy and sad “icons” while listening to happy and sad music.  They were told to pick which face was shown, but they would pick a sad face when listening to sad music, even if the face shown was happy.  This concludes that the music really does affect one’s mood.


Another experiment that could be done could be 10 people in sad moods listening to happy music, and 10 people in happy moods listening to sad music.  Then, scientists could check their moods afterwards and see if they changed.  My hypothesis is that they will change most likely.  But I guess we’ll have to wait and see 🙂

Works Cited:


7 thoughts on “Does the type of music you listen to affect your mood?

  1. Shannon Elizabeth Kress

    This blog sparked my interest, because I find myself constantly listening to music (in fact I am right now). I am actually writing a blog on how music or smells can take you back to a specific memory and why they do that. I know that when people are sad, a way to become happier is to release more Endorphins. I think it would be very interesting to look at the specific endorphin released when listening to certain types of songs. I’d be curious to look at how these chemicals in our brains are released while listening to music, and how they come into play with the way studies have been done for this topic so far.

  2. Danielle Lindsey Deihl

    This post does a great job at explaining how each genre of music can alter someone’s mood, but there are also many other benefits to music. One example is improving the way that we learn. This article states that, “scientific research supports common experience that pairing music with rhythm and pitch enhances learning and recall”. This explains why so many lessons are taught through song to young children, such as the ABC’s. Music can also be used to lower anxiety. The article explains, “calming music can be combined with cognitive therapy to lower anxiety even more effectively than conventional therapy alone”. It will be interesting to see if other benefits of music are discovered in the future.

  3. Aidan James Bitterman

    I am a huge, huge country music fan. When I am sad or something, I definitely find myself listening to music that is more sad. I feel like this could be an instance where A is thought to cause B, but B really causes A. People might be feeling sad, prompting them to listen to a sadder genre of music. There are also a lot of happy, fun country songs that are out there.

  4. Emily Josephine Engle

    This was a very interesting blog post to me. I am definitely the kind of person who will listen to sad music when I’m sad, happy music when life can’t seem to get any better, and inspiring music before a big dance recital or show. Music plays such a large part in many people’s lives, especially mine. In fact, my cousin is a Music Therapist. He currently works in a special hospital in California that has patients that are wheel-chair bound, dealing with mental illnesses, and many other diseases. His job is to provide the kind of relief that you would receive in a regular therapy-like session, but through music. Music helps them express their feelings that they may not be able to express through words, or even pull them out of a dark mental state and help them see the light and all the positive things the world has to offer. His occupation once again proves how much music can do for someone and can truly bring people together in ways that one might think could ever be possible.

    Some more information regarding music therapy:

  5. Victoria Atkinson Scott

    This is an interesting post, I would like to see the correlation between test scores and music the student had playing while studying. Dr. Nina Krauss, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University says that, “What happens when we get older is that neural responses slow down, especially in response to very fast and complicated sounds like consonants,” so this is telling as to why parents have their children listen to Mozart and other classical music. There is a good study about how the kids who played an instrument when they are younger were able to respond faster to the speech in the tests. Here is the experiment and article:!/story/after-mozart-effect-music-impact-brain/

  6. mcm5844

    I found this blog very interesting because I love listening to music and I definitely change the genre I listen to depending on how I’m feeling. Although I find many of your finding interesting, I believe it’s hard to but each genre of music into one category due to some major third variables. One of these variables is the idea that each person reacts differently to each type of music because everyone’s personality is different. For example, in your blog you found that “Country has actually been seen to cause depression,” but I happen to listen to country music when I am happiest. Here is an article that focuses more on the bigger picture of how music makes you happy that is not genre based:

  7. odh5019

    I really liked this blog because it gave me some helpful tips on the kind of music I can listen to when I am in a particular mood and it described accurately how I feel about music. In fact I did my own research and apparently music can be used as therapy. Music Therapy is an established profession that confronts cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs of the patient through the use of music. Apparently musical involvement can transfer the therapy in a different way because it stimulates different parts of the brain.

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