Are you sad, depressed, or anxious maybe? You will be glad to know that you can chase all the blues away just by listening to your favorite music. Considered as a natural antidepressant, music can give you the euphoric high that antidepressant medications can bring. So if you are looking for a great way to end your crappy day, read on to learn more about how music can uplift your mood almost instantly.
How Music Affects the Brain
Music is known to tap into various parts of the brain, that is why it is utilized by many experts in treating depressed or anxious patients. The meter, timber, rhythm and pitch of music are managed in areas of the brain that deal with emotions and mood. These key areas are the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and the parietal lobe.
The hippocampus, a structure of the limbic system, is responsible for spatial orientation, navigation and the consolidation of new memories. It also brings about emotional responses. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, manages extreme impulses and emotions. Known as the “seat of good judgment,” it enables one to make good and acceptable calls so that inappropriate behaviors are prevented.
As for the parietal lobe, it is in charge of spatial orientation, information processing and cognition, affects many others.
Because of its ability to alter the different parts of the brain, music has been utilized in a number of therapies. For example, it has been applied to stroke victims to teach them how to talk once again. At the same time, it is recommended to stutterers so that they can dictate words clearly once again. Since it reaches the emotion-related barriers too, music is now being utilized as a mood-altering therapy for depressed and anxious individuals.
How Music Uplifts Your Mood
Whenever you are feeling down and blue, music can get you out of the dumps – literally. Here are ways on how music can help improve your mood:
Music can make you happy.
A lot of people turn to upbeat music whenever they feel sad or depressed, and it comes as no surprise why it is a viable solution for people feeling blue. For several years, music has made a lot of individuals happy. That’s because soothing tunes foster the release of serotonin, a hormone that fosters happiness and a general sense of well-being. It also flushes the body with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Music also paves the way for the release of norepinephrine, a hormone that brings about euphoria and elation.
With all the hormones that flood the body with happy thoughts, you do not have to purchase expensive anti-depressant medications just to feel better.
Music can motivate you.
Songs with positive messages, such as “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson are filled with inspirational meanings that can truly uplift your mood. The messages that are embedded in such songs – plus the euphoria that comes with singing these tunes – can motivate you to brush yourself up and try again.
Whenever you are feeling down in the dumps, listening (even singing) to “I Will Survive” at the top of your lungs can give you the strength and motivation to pick yourself up.
Music can reduce your stresses.
Are work-related stresses making you feel sad and anxious? A great way to relieve the tensions that bring you down is to listen to music. Soothing tunes can help relax your tensed muscles, as well as pace down your breathing rate. With these physiologic changes, you can eliminate the stresses that can make you cranky and moody.
Music can change your perception.
Even if a thing that saddens you is not present in front you, it can make you feel down for the days to come – especially if you let it get to you. But if you want to enjoy a more positive view in life, then what you need to do is listen to your favorite tunes.
A study conducted by experts from the University of Groningen shows that people enjoy a ‘happier’ perception when they listen to lively music. So if you want to drown all the depression away, crank up the radio and expect your perception to be changed – at least for the better.
Music can modify your brain waves.
Music does not only change your present disposition, it can alter your future mood as well. Even if you turn that iPod off, the music that you just listened to can significantly change your brain waves. That means a positive mood for the hours (even days) to come.
Better Mood = Better Life
Music is a safe and cheap way to improve your mood. And with a better disposition, you can have a better life.
Proving this true is a study conducted by experts from the University of Missouri. In this research, it has been proven that music is monumental in mood improvement. With a better sense of happiness, studies show that people experience improved health, greater relationship satisfaction, enhanced behavior – even higher income.
Music to Listen to
With music’s mood-uplifting effects, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the best music to listen to?” Well then, you will be glad to know that all kinds of music can improve your mood.
In a study conducted by researchers from Penn State University, results showed that students who listened to music – almost any type of music – reported feeling more joyful, optimistic, friendly, calm and relaxed.
While most recommend soothing music such as classical masterpieces by Beethoven and Mozart, the research shows that even the loudest of songs – such as rock and grunge – can make you feel positive. Whether you are into pop, new wave, soft rock or alternative genres, you can rely on your favorite tunes to make you feel happy – even after a crappy day.
Be forewarned, there is such a thing as “sad music.” In one experiment, research subjects were separated into two groups. One group listened to upbeat “happy” music while the other group listened to somber “sad” music. The people who listened to the “happy” music felt happy afterwards. The people who listened to “sad” music conversely felt sad. But what was actually surprising was the change in thoughts after listening to music. Those who listened to the sad music remembered more of the bad things that had happened during the course of their lives and had little confidence in their ability to complete simple tasks successfully.