Music is something many people feel they can’t live without. The diversity of genres goes beyond what most people realize Those who are eclectic find comfort and happiness in most or all forms of music based on their mood. Aside from personal preference and mood, there are bigger reasons why many people turn to music regularly, even if they don’t know it.
Ever wonder why your mood changes when you have music on or why you choose a certain genre when you do? The nucleus accumbens in our brain are responsible for the pleasures we experience. Once stimulated, they release dopamine allowing us to feel at ease and in most cases, happy. When we experience a variety of ailments such as illness, depression, anxiety, or just situational stress, our dopamine levels decrease while our cortisol levels increase (Shapiro, 2022). This is important to understand when it comes to the reasons music is so beneficial in our lives.
Music is a timeless passion for many people whether they are performing it or listening to it. Over time there have been a tremendous amount of studies done and the findings all pointed to music being an amazing healer in it’s own ways. First, a neurologist by the name of Alexander Pantelyat determined that music activates and stimulates more areas of the brain at the same time then any other action a person can take. This is important to note since many of our more negative emotions can also be triggered at the same time in all types of circumstances. It was also determined that music that causes recall of memories are known to stimulate the nuclear accumbens and therefore automatically release dopamine.
Endorphins, similar to dopamine, is also a chemical released from the brain that has been commonly referred to as the “happy hormone”. However, endorphins have also been known to be considered a natural healer to physical ailments that many people suffer from causing them pain. Once the endorphins meet the brain, it is then that dopamine is released. Studies have shown that listening to music, specifically softer or calmer music, causes a release of endorphins leading to the release of dopamine. For this reason, many people have had great success with music as a form of therapy.
Additionally, there are scientific studies showing a benefit to those with high blood pressure, chronic stress, and physical pain. According to David Victor (2023), those suffering from PTSD can also benefit from music therapy. Certain songs and forms of music trigger memories of better times in their lives and bring back a sense of peace and safety. It then releases the chemicals and hormones needed to help the patient to feel at ease. The feeling of happiness can be just as habit forming as the feeling of misery. The hope of the therapy is to rely on an easy trigger to happy hormones known as music. Something easily accessible and less dangerous than the high dosages of medication. (This is no way means that patients should rely only on music as therapy or that medication is not the right answer for them. Everyone that suffers from any ailment, big or small, should rely on a trusted medical professional for advice and care.)
Taking away the scientific part of things, music has a tendency on making people happy. It doesn’t seem to matter the genre they prefer when it comes to daily routines. However, I think we all have picked our music based on our moods at some point. Some music, like death metal, can be more aggressive and harsher then, let's say, classical. However, for those with a passion for it, it seems to bring them a sense of peace and happiness as well.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also e-mail me if you have a topic you would like me to look into and write about. Do you pick music based on your mood? Do you listen to it more when you are feeling down, or does it not affect your mood at all? (Remember to keep all comments respectful to avoid them being deleted). Follow for more articles.