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.