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Why does music make us happy?

Sailun Tires


Are you one of those that thinks a world without music is unthinkable and sad, and uses music like a happiness-enforcing drug? Yes, you are not alone!

What is the language of our most intense emotions? It’s music without a doubt. Humans have used music to describe all sorts of emotions: from celebrating victories, expressing our love for someone to mourning the loved ones that have passed away. Music is probably the best thing that separates us from the rest of the animals in this universe. I can’t even imagine how dull life would be without music. But what is it in music that makes us happy and touches us so deeply?

It’s Genetic

Through understanding how and why music makes us happy, we can gain insights into the entire pleasure system of humans. On a neurological level, the brain is actually programmed to enjoy music i.e. to react emotionally when the music “touches” our ears and the vibrations reach our eardrums. Studies have shown that even five-month old babies react to happy songs. If you have a newborn, you have probably experienced this in person.

But why does music moves us so easily? Well, maybe because we are naturally empathic beings. Lyrics and melodies are created by the musicians’ emotions, so it is only natural to feel those emotions through this universal language. Scientists have even discovered that certain frequencies generated through music can even affect animals and plants. For example, Mozart’s symphonies have been used in experiments and researchers have discovered that with their help plants grow bigger and faster. There have also been cases where Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in D has stimulated a higher production rate of cow’s milk.

The science behind this is tied to the fact that our body consists of about 60% water. Why is this important? Because water is affected and crystallizes differently with different frequencies generated by sounds i.e. music. Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan did an experiment on this. He exposed water to different kinds of sounds, for example, a prayer, Beethoven’s Pastorale, John Lennon’s Imagine, sound of anger etc., and each time the water crystallized differently.

Happy Music is Healthy

Happy music is very beneficial to people because it can influence our immune system in a positive way. It’s not uncommon for pieces of happy music to be played to pregnant women or patients after surgeries because it can significantly lower the blood pressure and the heart rate. This makes music most beneficial to people with cardiac problems. Even in cases of hospitalized children where happy music was used during therapy doctors have found out that much more positive results can be produced.
When we hear sad music on the other hand which is usually played in minor keys, our blood pressure rises. This is why you should never expose depressed people to sad music. While in the case of happy music endorphins and dopamine are released in the brain, popularly known as feel-good hormones, and all sadness vanishes even for at least a moment. We even feel more motivated than before.

Researchers have successfully linked music-induced pleasures to surges of intense emotional arousals. This includes changes in breathing, pulse or heart rate, and often times if the tune is that good people report feelings of chills or shivers, in a positive way of course. This is because blood flows to the regions in the brain where dopamine is released and later on the dopamine ties up all available receptors.

Personal Experience

But the context within which we listen to music is probably what matters too. What is the state of mind when we listen to music, where are we at the moment, is it raining, is it sunny, are we alone or with others etc. We tend to tie music with events that have happened to us and when we listen to the same music piece later on we associate it with the place where we heard it before and how we felt at that moment.

Some love to listen to music while they work, some while do their exercises, some while having a beer or two with their friends. I personally love to listen to music when I browse the internet for interesting stuff, watch the latest hilarious gif animations, look for lists of the best video games, top ten billboard songs, lists with life-hacks, the amazing sites you will find when you visit or anything I might come up with at the moment to relax after a busy work day and let my mind sooth in beautiful sounds. Music can do some amazing stuff to us and relax us in the most magical way!

Also, I can’t imagine doing some work without music in the background. It helps me do my job better and feel confident about it. The goal in the end is the same: trying to create a joyful atmosphere in order to become more motivated and productive. And, oh boy, do I love hiking in nature with music through the earphones!

However, many will agree that the best way to experience music is in company, because music has the power to make people build strong social bonds. When you are in a room with people that like the same music as you do, you can very easily create new friendships, while your favorite band plays in the background on the stereo. When people sing together they can even literally catch certain feelings from one another and reach even more curious levels of happiness and they bond through these emotions that were generated with the help of music.

Music chills, music thrills, and music kills!

Music is able to open the most dangerous dungeons in our minds that can frighten us, tighten us or even heighten us. The waves created through it reach our central nervous system and cast colors of soothing sensations and in-expectancy. But, music that will always make you happy can help you drift into a universe of make-believe or nostalgia and unite us or drift us from nature.

Music can make people so much happy that it can result with an addiction at the same level as drug addiction. This is because music triggers a system in our brain called a reward system just like drugs do, which can result to not being able to lighten yourself up without your favorite song or music in general. Fortunately, music is not bad for our health at all. We love music and it makes us happy for the same reason as we’re drawn to delicious food, gambling, drugs or sex. Go on and play your favorite tune and have a feel-good day!


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