How Does Music Affect Your Mood?

Many people do not realize how effective listening to your favorite music is – it helps chase all the blues away and uplifts your mood. You can get the same euphoric high from music that you get through antidepressant medications, and without the side effects. The question is, exactly how does music affect your mood? Are there things to consider when using music as a way to relieve depression and anxiety? Let's find out now!

How Does Music Affect Your Mood?

Experts believe that music can tap into different parts of the brain, which is the reason why it may help people deal with anxiety and depression. One explanation could be that music works to relieve anxiety because the timber, meter, pitch, and rhythm of music are processed in the same areas of the brain (the hippocampus, the parietal lobe, and prefrontal cortex) that deal with mood and emotions. Here is what these different areas do:

  • The hippocampus is actually a structure of the limbic system and helps consolidate and navigate through new memories.
  • The prefrontal cortex is responsible for managing emotions and impulse, which in turn help prevent inappropriate behaviors.
  • The parietal lobe manages information processing, spatial orientation, and cognition.

Listening to music can affect these parts of your brain and bring about positive changes in your body. Experts have used music to help stroke victims learn how to talk again. It may also help stutters understand how to pronounce different words properly. As it can reach the emotion-related barriers, it works amazingly well to reduce anxiety and depression. Soothing tunes promote the release of feel-good hormone called serotonin and norepinephrine, which brings about elation and euphoria.

How does music affect your mood? There certainly is an emotional explanation, but listening to your favorite music can also be a physical experience that makes you feel happy. For instance, singing may release the "cuddle hormone" called oxytocin that connects you with others. Moreover, music may also improve mood by producing a variety of other molecules in your biological pharmacy, which is another reason why it evokes the deepest emotions in people and help process grief, fear, resentment, and sadness in a better way.

How to Make Music Work for You

Now, you may have realized how music can change the way you think about different things and how you react in different stressful situations, you may want to understand more about how to make music work for you. Here is how you can maximize the mood-boosting benefits of music.

  • Enjoy upbeat music in the morning. When you start your day, you should consider listening to some upbeat music. This will help encourage the production of hormones related to that "get up and go" feeling. Just keep in mind that you should not go for very loud music at this time – anything light, easy, and cheery will do the trick. Make a habit of listening to cheery music around breakfast-time to start your day on a positive note.
  • Combine meditation and music to overcome your anxiety. The combination of soothing music and meditation provides you with a solid foundation to get rid of anxiety and depression. Depression can affect the quality of your life and hit your mood in a negative way. Just select a time of day when you should meditate to soothing music, such as soft rock, classical music, and MP3s of wind, wind chimes, or soft tones.
  • Opt for "directed tones". Experts in the field of tones, music, and mood are producing pieces that speak to your brain to achieve certain changes. Binaural beats or tones played in each ear individually can affect your brain in no time and create the mood you prefer.
  • Understand how much music you need to introduce in your life in the beginning. Your brain may not respond positively when you have some music on as a background throughout the day. There has to be some breaks and periods of "no music" in the beginning. This helps your brain understand the changes and the way you would want it to react to therapeutic tones.
  • Do not overdo when it comes to listening to hard rock or fast music. Hard rock may sound like great fun, but you should not listen to it without breaks. This may increase your heartbeat, which may send anxiety signals to your brain. Moreover, you should leave your favorite tunes to occasions when you really want to cheer up and dance.

The fact of the matter is that tone and rhythm can have an impact on your mood and there is enough scientific explanation backing the idea of listening to music to feel better even on a stressful day. Just be sure to select the right set of tones and listen to them in a systematic way to maximize the benefits of music. 

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