When music elevates mood
MANILA, Philippines – When it comes to music, there’s a time and a place for everything.
Were you ever so in love that you felt no shame about blasting Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in the car with other people present? Or were you ever so devastated by a breakup that you spent days locked in your room, blasting and sobbing to Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart?”
Right now, as the holiday season closes in, there’s nothing like a little "Jingle Bell Rock" to get the Christmas vibe and nostalgia going.
As humans, we experience a range of emotions everyday – whether we feel happy, sad, excited, or worried. Music is capable of regulating our emotional state: it can amplify our mood, temper it, or in some cases, trigger a sensitive memory and subsequently an emotional outburst of “THIS WAS OUR SONG!” perhaps followed by a table flip.
Music has the power to tug at our emotions. Research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology showed that people can use music to successfully improve their moods and their overall happiness in just 2 weeks. All it takes is the right playlist.
I’ve got the music in me
Music affects our subconscious not just through the lyrics and the themes present in the song. Rhythm and tone also play a role.
When we listen to a particular rhythm, our heartbeat naturally begins to sync with it. A slow, steady heartbeat tells our brain that we’re listening to something sad or depressing, which may prompt us to look out into the sunset while nursing that single tear. Conversely, a very fast heartbeat is related to happiness or excitement, which could explain that sudden, urgent need to dance in the shower.
Other studies have shown that happy, upbeat tunes help release serotonin, the happiness hormone, as well as dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good all around.
The physiological effects of music can make us feel things. It can motivate us, reduce stress, and even change our perception on life. Armed with this knowledge, here are a few ways you can improve your mood – and maybe even your life – with the right playlist:
Listen to upbeat music in the morning. Got a case of the Monday morning blues? Listen to some upbeat, feel good music first thing in the morning to make even the most mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or taking a shower a treat. Or better yet, since it’s holiday season, catch the Christmas fever by tuning in to some of your favorite Christmas beats.
Ease anxiety with meditation. Whenever you feel anxious or depressed and your heartbeat starts spiking at an ungodly rate, breathe deeply and listen to slow, soothing beats. Try listening to meditative music, which can inducne a sense of tranquility. You’ll feel better in no time. Plug in some slow, relaxing sounds: the casual tempo can steady your heart rate and calm you down.
Temper road rage with reggae. No one is immune to the infuriating effects of traffic mixed with rude drivers! When you feel the anger coming on, reggae is one of the music genres that can organically calm you down, man. It’s said that the rhythm of reggae is based on the healthy human heart at rest.
Listen to classical music for better focus and sleep. Classical music is not just for those who claim to be cultured! It’s also associated with increased brainpower and is used in hospitals and schools to foster an air of focus. At home, it can help you and your kids sleep better at night. As Christmas draws near, here’s a playlist of classical music just for the holidays.
Listening to good music is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to improve your mood and add a positive spin to your day. The right track at the right time has the power to set the tone for the season, brighten your disposition, and get you out of that deep, dark funk that’s caused by hormonal imbalance (or your ex) – a little something to think about whenever you’re making or browsing through your playlists. – Rappler.com