Quite simply, the answer is yes. We’re not going to beat around the bush here—music definitely has an effect on your mood. Sometimes the effect is subtle, and other times it might be almost nonexistent, but in general, research continuously supports the theory that music affects our emotions in many different ways. Of course, we all probably know that to some degree, but not many of us have learned how and why music has the effect on us that it does. And that’s what we’re here today to discuss.
Why Does Music Affect Your Mood?
Our brains are wired to react to certain stimuli, and music is definitely a stimulus that our brains naturally respond to. According to researchers, music stimulates the part of our brain that releases dopamine, which influences our emotional behavior and mood regulation. The influence that music has on our bodies are behavioral and neuronal, which essentially means that not only does music affect our mood, but it affects us in ways that we can’t control.
How Does Music Affect Your Mood?
Quite simply, every song has a certain “feel” to it, and that feeling is created using a variety of elements such as tempo, composition, lyrics, and melody. For an obvious example, listening to slow classical music has a calming effect while listening to upbeat hip-hop music gives our bodies energy. Additionally, listening to sad music can make us feel sad, and listening to happy music can make us feel happy. The examples could continue forever, but the point is that our bodies naturally react to the emotions of the songs we listen to.
Why Does This Matter?
Knowing how and why music affects your mood is important for a few reasons. First and foremost, it will hopefully make us a little more mindful of the music we listen to. If you find yourself feeling angry and agitated, it might be time to take a step back and stop listening to upbeat, aggressive music and instead listen to something more soothing. As silly as it might sound, that really can happen and making the change really can help.
Music therapy is a form of therapy that is backed by research and science for this exact reason. To put it not-very-scientifically, there seems to be something about music that makes it speak directly to our emotions. When used intentionally, it can have a lasting positive impact on our behavior, mood, and thinking habits.