How Does Music Affect Your Mood?

There is something instinctive in the influence of music on our moods.

Even those who are not involved in the studies of the brain and moods, know about that. In fact, this entire process takes place on a more subconscious level. For example, mothers know instinctively that lullaby tones or rhythmic “shh shh” can calm their child. True, it may not turn crying and fury in the great and joyful mood, but it can bring comfort and a sense of peace and serenity. It can change the mood.

5 Features of Music and Mood

Many researchers examined the influence of music on the human psyche. Results showed what we all instinctively know – music can change our mood.

  1. Music can cheer you up. Cheerful tones can give you a better mood. This was shown in the study conducted at the University of Missouri. Participants who were listening to joyful music have managed to improve their mood.
  2. Music can comfort you. Remember the words about babies and lullabies? When you grow up, music can have a similar feature. Listening to sad and  heartbreaking songs, after a break up or loss, can provide some kind of comfort. Primarily because it’s comforting to know that you’re not the only one with a bitter experience in life. Hey, some people have even written a song about it!  You know that feeling when the song describes exactly how you feel? That’s it! Music brings comfort, almost as good as the best friend – it simply understands you.
  3. Music can help  you  to get rid of anger. In the same way that helps you beat sadness with sorrowful tones, music can help you with temporary anger and excess of negative emotions. You need a dose of energetic tones.
  4. Music can scare you. You do not believe? Try to watch a horror movie without a sound. The truth is that, without the creepy music, some scenes may look more funny than scary. Likewise, creepy music can frighten you even when you are not watching scary scenes.
  5. Music can motivate you. When you think you’ve reached the bottom, upbeat music in combination with motivational text can give you additional incentive and strength to move on.

Scientists who have studied this issue say that music can affect on heart rhythm.

Our body and heart beat adapt to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. When we hear the faster rhythm of the music, our heart tries to adjust and begins to beat faster.

But the mood does not come from the heart, right? It’s true. However, a faster heart rate sends the signal to the brain that something is happening and awakens appropriate emotions. This is a cause-and-effect relationship. Faster songs speed up the heartbeat, and the brain receives several types of signals – you’re happy or angry. It all depends on tones.

Can you cheer up with music?

You can, but if you want to. If you are decided to grieve, cheerful music will not change your mood. Research from the University of Missouri has shown that music can change the mood, but only when participants listen to music with that intention. Without intention, the results will be absent. So, we can say that the change of the mood depends on you.

Cheerful tones affect the functioning of the heart, but also to the production of hormones in our brain. Thus,  the music that we like affects on releasing of dopamine (a hormone of pleasure) and norepinephrine, which is a hormone that incites an euphoric mood.

The fact that music affects the mood is used as a marketing tool and a mean for improving sales. Those who deal with the psychology of consumers know that buying decisions are not reasonable. They are made based on emotions and moods. It is more likely that you will decide to buy something when you are happy and in good the mood. It is clear now that Christmas euphoria is skillfully warmed up with cheerful Christmas songs in shopping malls. The same is true and when it is not a holiday. You will rarely find a shopping mall where in silence or with some sad music. Actually, it’s much more likely that you will find yourself singing some familiar song and enjoy shopping.

Turn things in your favor!

Research in Groningen has shown that music does not only affect mood, but it also changes the look on the world. A selection of your favorite music is, in some way, a reflection of your character. If you are listening to aggressive tones full of negative emotions all day, it is unlikely that you will feel exhilarated.

We can compare that with human relations. You know already – the mood is contagious. In the company of happy people, you will be happier. Smile and kindness will cause a smile on your face while the anger and aggression will provoke negative feelings and bad mood.

Want a better look on the world? Reduce negative tones and increase the positive ones.

  • Start your day with a great mood. Use your smart phone to wake you up with a cheerful song and listen to upbeat music.
  • Calm yourself with some relaxing music when you are nervous.  Slow down your heart rate and send a sign to the brain to reduce the intensity of bad emotions.

Perhaps the answer to the question of how music affects mood lies behind the fact that certain emotions and mood inspired composing of some music. It shows the mood of the author, through the tones. And the mood is contagious, is not it?