Music and Mood


I love listening to music. Whether it is at the gym, while doing homework, or just casual listening, music is an integral part of my day and my life. However, I recently started realizing the impact that music has on my mood. When I am listening to an upbeat song, I feel happy and energized, while a slower song makes me feel calm and relaxed. I found this effect very interesting and wanted to delve into just how much music really does affect mood.

It turns out the evidence behind music affecting mood is quite significant. The reason for music’s strong influence over us is rooted in music’s rhythm and tone, and its effect on our biology. For example, when we listen to music, our heart actually begins to beat in time with the beat of the song. This is why, when listening to a song with a slow, soothing beat our heart rate slows and we feel relaxed, while listening to an uptempo song makes our hearts begins to race and generates a feeling of excitement. The tone of the song also has an equally significant effect on our mood. Songs played in a predominantly major key send a signal of cheerfulness to our brain while songs in minor keys relay solemnity and sadness. Our brain then takes these communicated feelings and relays the message to the rest of our body, actually making us feel these emotions.


Because of music’s strong influence over our mood, the science of Music Therapy has become popular in treating depression and other mental health disorders. Music is a very effective means of combating depression. Listening to music has been shown to increase mood and overall happiness within two weeks of treatment. This is due to the fact that listening to happy music actually triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals in our brain responsible for making us feel good. Because of this biological reaction, music actually physically triggers us to feel happier. Listening to music is also an effective sleep therapy. Studies show that listening to soothing music releases the chemical melatonin, which regulates relaxation and sleep cycle in the body. This can be an effective therapy for those who have insomnia or trouble sleeping.

Overall, music is a powerful tool due to its strong connection to our brain and biology. It can have significant effects on mood for both the casual listener, or for those using it as an aid for mental disorders. After finding these results in my research, I will definitely continue to listen to music as part of my daily routine, as perhaps even use it as a tool to control my mood throughout the day.



8 thoughts on “Music and Mood

  1. Margaret Eppinger

    This is a great post. I also am a huge fan of music, and I agree that my mood tends to be based on whatever song I’m listening to at the time. The fact that our hearts actually beat in time with music is really fascinating–the music is literally connected to the heart. It almost seems as if music engages the whole body when you listen to it. I also find it interesting that music is effective as therapy, and I wonder if it will be used more commonly as a treatment for mental illness in the future, or will it just be dismissed as something that really doesn’t affect it at all.

  2. Amanda Voirrey Rust

    I found this blog very interesting because lately I have been craving different genres of music depending on what type of mood I am in. Happy and positive music can often cheer me up when I am down. I definitely was never aware that music releases serotonin, and find that very fascinating. I am now going to try to listen to some music before I sleep tonight! I found this article about a study done relating sleep and music and thought it was pretty interesting.

  3. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    Hello Wesley, this is an awesome blog post. Music is a huge part of my daily routine and depending on what I am doing 100% depends on the genre I am listening to. Walking to class in the morning usually I am listening to something slower and relaxing like Frank Sinatra. After class when I get to the gym I am looking to get my heart rate up so that means I am going to listen to some hard rock and roll. The study you referred to in your post makes perfect sense, I never really though about it until reading it how slower music releases melatonin which makes you tired. Music is a huge part of my day and it for sure keeps me in a good mood, gets me ready for war, or puts me to bed, music is a language we all learned to speak and understand.

  4. Jacob Gross

    It is really fascinating how music can affect both our emotions and brain. Music is so powerful in that it serves so many functions. It can make you feel happy and it also can pump you up for a big game and it could serve as a method of therapy as well. I found it very interesting how when you listen to music your heart starts beating in time with the beat of the song. I also found an article you may like talking about how a lot of the music we remember is from defining periods of our lives.

  5. David Ross

    I can relate with this post because I would not be able to survive without music, or at least I wouldn’t want to. One thing that I have always found interesting was how sometimes I’ll listen to a song and it will make me happier but yet other times when I listen to the same song I’ll become sad. This is not a common occurrence by any means but it has happened to me before. I wonder if there is some sort of undiscovered reasoning behind this phenomenon or if I’m just some rare being.

  6. Peter Bott

    Great post, I was actually thinking about something similar the other day. I love listening to metal and 90’s grunge. I always found it interesting that I can listen to a song and always associate it with a certain moment and feeling in my life.

  7. Joe Garrett

    Music is one of the greatest things ever invented in my opinion. I don’t know what I would do without it. I also love to listen to music whenever I get the chance. It can be such a great mood enhancer and can turn a bad day into a better one. I found it interesting that our heart rate changes with the beat and tempo of the music.

  8. Evan Michael Wentzel

    Hey I love this post, I also did a post about music and mood earlier because I too love music, I don’t know what I would do without it. I love that music can have such a great affect on your mood and it’s truly remarkable to think about why that happens. I also noticed you have a photo from the Made in America Festival, I’m not sure if you’ve ever gone I’ve heard it’s amazing.

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