Have you realized how much further you can push yourself when you have a good beat playing while you exercise? Yup, that’s right. So if you’ve ever wondered how to boost your mood and energy, music is the answer.
It may energize, heal, and calm you, and it’s magical. Technically, the power of mood-boosting music is based on science, and here’s how.
The Magic of Music
The magic of music isn’t new. Marketers have been using music to influence consumers for what seems like forever.
Restaurants and shops play slow or fast music depending on how long they want their customers to hang around. Then there’s that catchy jingle you have stuck in your head, and it’s there for a reason: to increase the sales from that specific brand.
The benefits and effects music has on us don’t end there.
People may have always used music as a tool to influence their mental health and mood for the better. While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence, what does science say?
The Science of Music and Well-being
A 2021 study published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how music activities could affect the participant’s well-being and health. The conclusion stated that music activities are an underutilized resource to improve people’s mood, pain, movement, and social connections.
For example, their pain decreased when the participants listened to music. Another group of participants with dementia experienced better posture, movement, and overall well-being when they heard music.
A report by the Global Council on Brain Health, in collaboration with the AARP, states that listening to music stimulates the reptilian brain (or subcortical regions) responsible for creating emotions.
Music also triggers the release of the feel-good hormone, dopamine. A flood of dopamine helps you sleep and feel better as your stress levels decrease. You’ll also benefit from more energy and focus.
Introduce a Note of Music in Your Life for…
If you want to feel closer to your loved ones or community, music will help foster connection and feelings of social cohesion. Our arboreal ancestors (tree-dwellers) possibly used music as a communication tool to call each other.
National anthems, religious and faith-based hymns, protest songs, lullabies, and love songs have a powerful way to unite and connect people and bridge age, racial, and cultural divides.
Memory and Focus
There’s a reason why some students listen to classical music when they’re studying for tests and exams. Yes it boosts mood, but can if make us pay better attention? When classical music plays in the background, you may focus better on memory and cognitive tasks.
So next time you need to boost your concentration capabilities, improve your memory, pump out work, or learn something new, play slow-paced background music.
With our busy lives, it’s no surprise that our mental health is strained. One review suggested that music may reduce anxiety symptoms. When you listen to your favorite tunes, your heart rate and levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, decrease.
How you feel also affects your emotional well-being, so it’s wonderful news that music may lift your mood as you feel relaxed and nostalgic.
Dr. Gregory Barkley at Henry Ford Health says, “Because music has a repetitive quality … it can be soothing [for those] who suffer from mental health issues.”
A survey about how people used music to cope at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns found that those who listened to soft, acoustic, mood-boosting music benefited the most in reducing distress and improving their overall well-being.
Your mental health also improves when you sleep well and get adequate rest. Since music may help regulate cortisol, it also calms parts of your autonomic nervous system. The benefit is that your breathing and heart rate slow so you feel relaxed. Thus, you sleep better.
Energy, Endurance, and Performance
Playing your favorite beats can possibly even give you energy, which improves your endurance and performance. But how does music boost mood and energy?
While we listen to songs, entrainment happens. It’s a process whereby we adjust or synchronize to the rhythm of the music.
For example, if you jog on a treadmill and listen to a fast-paced power anthem, your heartbeat and breathing patterns will adjust to the music’s tempo. You’ll feel more motivated for the song’s duration, and while you jog away, you may even run faster.
You won’t feel so tired because music’s ergogenic effect could enhance your power, performance, stamina, and recovery.
How to Boost Your Mood: Start with Music
If you’ve ever wondered how to boost your mood, music is one tool you can use to improve your overall well-being and quality of life.
Mood-boosting music may provide various benefits, depending on the type of music you listen to, from mending a broken heart with tracks like Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” to feeling uplifted with “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees.