You probably had one of those days where you felt down. Maybe you argued with your parents, and that made you feel sad. Or, perhaps an exam you’ll be taking is giving you anxiety. Whatever the cause of your distress is, chances are, you’ve used music to help you cope.
That makes you wonder. Is there a direct connection between feeling good and listening to music? And if there is, how powerful is the connection? Read on to find out!
What Kind Of Music Makes People Happy?
Music is an art form that almost anyone can appreciate. It’s everywhere. We see it in movies, television shows, advertisements, and countless other venues. People have even made a living from making music. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s always present in our everyday lives.
With hundreds of genres to pick from and millions of songs to explore, there should be a piece of music out there for everyone. We need to do a bit of digging to get to our anthem. But with so many different kinds of music, we have to ask: Which songs make people happy? It can’t be all of them. Some songs are happy, some are sad, and others are outright weird.
Happy songs are usually those with fast tempos and are in the major key. They can hype the listeners, whose pulse and breathing tend to quicken. As for sad songs, these are much slower and are in the minor key. It slows a person’s pulse and causes an increase in their blood pressure.
Well, the answer to the question is that it varies from person to person. It’s easy to say that happy songs make people feel good, but this isn’t always the case. Some people listen to sad songs because they can relate to its message. It brings catharsis or the release of their emotions. So, while happy songs can make people happy, sad songs can as well, albeit indirectly.
Also, everyone has a list of their favorite songs. These songs can be sad or happy and can fall under any genre. It doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s a person’s favorite song means that it’s very likely to make them happy. Simply anticipating that your favorite song is about to play is enough to bring a smile to your face.
The Correlation Between Music And Feeling Good
To further understand how music and the brain work together, scientists have done countless experiments to test the connection.
A study in Canada at McGill University brought about insightful results (read further here: Family Education). Whenever we satisfy our need or want to sleep, eat, or reproduce, our brain releases a chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine is a neurochemical that makes people feel good when they experience being rewarded or pleasure, in general. The study found that the same chemical is released when we listen to music. The feel-good neurochemical was released whenever a person anticipated the music and when they experienced it.
Another study, conducted in Australia at Deakin University, found that people who actively engaged with music are happy. What does “actively engaged in music” mean? It refers to people who dance, sing and attend musical events such as concerts and plays with musical numbers.
It shows that listening to music is beneficial to your well-being. But actively enjoying it can bring about a more considerable amount of happiness.
Psychologists still have no answer as to why this is the case. But they are suggesting that the added emotional and social connections that come with active participation play a big part. Others are saying that active involvement in music acts as a catharsis. It becomes an outlet to express one’s emotions. It is not present in passive listening.
It should be the perfect time for you to start working on that playlist of your favorite songs. If you’re a dancer or a singer, continue honing your craft. And if your favorite band or musical is coming to visit, it might be a good idea to save up for some tickets.
Music is everywhere in our lives. It’s present in our homes, our workplaces, and even in silence when our brains decide to hum us a tune. Don’t hesitate to enjoy it, for it could be exactly what you need to be happy.