Since the dawn of civilization, people have been enjoying the various benefits of music. Anthropologists have discovered that 200,000 years ago Homo sapiens created flutes from animal bones. Plato said that music is to the soul what gymnastics is to the body.
Today, music is fully present in our lives. Dr. Juan Pablo Cleary, a neurologist of Clínica Universidad de los Andes, explains that the habit of listening to music is generated from childhood and we share it as adults. In addition, certain types of music help us relieve stress and anxiety while other songs motivate us to exercise, for example.
This relationship between mood and music had not been thoroughly researched. However, a recent study by Finnish scientists shows us the emotional management of our brain, when listening to different types of music, through magnetic resonance imaging. They reached some results that indicate that those who listen to aggressive or sad music -to express negative feelings- reached higher levels of anxiety and neurosis.
On the other hand, the researcher Daniel Leviti showed through a study published in 2017, that music produces pleasure through the segregation of dopamine and that it acts in the same way that drugs or sex do.
Now, have you ever asked yourself what music is ideal for each mood?
Cognitive neuroscientist Jacob Jolij concluded that the songs that make you feel most animated and energetic are those with happy lyrics, high tempo and higher pitch. For example, songs like “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay or “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, would be a good example.
If you’re looking to relax or concentrate, the best option is low tempo and low tone songs, to lower your heart rate. Classical music is perfect for this purpose. Although the most relaxing song in the world -according to a recent study by neuromarketing- is “Weightless” by Marconi Union band.
To improve your physical performance, it is best to take advantage of the high tempos of Rock, Rap or Techno to maintain a high heart rate. If you are looking to let off steam and release your anger, the study shows that -despite popular belief-, Heavy Metal can help you in this way. A good example is “Back In Black” by AC/DC.
Listening to sad music is not going to increase your sadness, instead what it will do is produce feelings of nostalgia and delicacy that are psychologically positive emotions. Another good example would be “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
La música como terapia
Music therapy is based on the use of music as a therapeutic tool. To carry out this therapy, music and all its musical elements, such as rhythm, sound, harmony and melody, are used to improve physiological, emotional, mental, social and cognitive problems.
Some of the areas of improvement in the use of music therapy in people are:
- Improving attention and concentration. It increases performance at work, stimulating analysis and reasoning.
- It helps to channel your emotions. It awakens new emotions and feelings that can modify mood and encourage reflection.
- It helps to stimulate people’s creativity.
- Improves self-esteem and the ability to relate with other people.
We must take into account that music has not the same effects on everyone. In each person and also according to each moment in our lives, music can awaken different feelings in each moment or circumstance.
There is no doubt that music can help us giving an injection of adrenaline, calming the sadness or reaching a relaxed state. From a personal point of view, the important thing is that you identify those songs that you like, give you a good feeling and can change a negative mood to a positive one.
What music gives you a good feeling?