Most people have a favorite song. Sometimes people favor songs due to their eloquent lyrical content, and other times people are attracted to a certain song due to its addictive rhythm and beat. Nevertheless, music truly is a powerful force, and can affect one in many different ways according to genre and mood. When someone is sad they tend to listen to slower, more reflective songs that may induce a sense of nostalgia. Also, when one is feeling happy or excited upbeat songs with infectious beat tend to be favored. How do these two types of music affect the listener? It depends on the specific listener. Some sad songs brighten one’s mood, but others may increase feelings of distress and sorrow. That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. On the other hand, some happy and upbeat songs encourage an optimistic and cheery mood, but others may cause feelings of annoyance. I have been on both sides of these spectrum’s, and I’m sure you have too. Overall, music can be a life changing emotional outlet.
Studies show that music can be a very beneficial force in one’s life. Many people, especially teens, use music as a way to healthily let of their painful inner emotions which can cause depression. Instead of acting out irrationally, many music listeners turn to their ear buds or their headphones, and turn the desired tune up a little louder. Take John for example. “After some time in therapy, John realized he’d been repressing significant anger and aggression due to years of childhood emotional and physical abuse. Music had become his voice and his outlet. In a sense, music could touch the deep emotions that John dared not experience on his own. Now, equipped with an awareness of his previously-suppressed emotions, John has been able to unlock them and begin to work through the issues that have existed since childhood.” (How Music Impacts) This has been the case for many other people too.
While music can help alleviate depression, it can also greatly decrease anxiety and stress. HealthyChildren.org states, “Many people find familiar music comforting and calming. In fact, music is so effective in reducing anxiety; it is often used in dental, preoperative, and radiation therapy settings to help patients cope with their worries about procedures. Music helps decrease anxiety in the elderly, new mothers, and children too.” (Music and Mood) When touching on the effects of music with stress, they also state “Since ancient times, it has been known that certain kinds of music can help soothe away stress. Calming background music can significantly decrease irritability and promote calm in elderly nursing home patients with dementia. Music, widely chosen, lowers stress hormone levels.” (Music and Mood)
In conclusion, there is no doubt that music can be a very beneficial emotional outlet. People of all ages listen to it every day. It’s become almost a default. One song, just one song, has the power to make someone’s day whether they consciously realize it or not. My advice is to be mindful of the effects of the music you listen to, and really mull over the thoughts and emotions they evoke.
“How Music Impacts, Helps Our Emotions.” World of Psychology. N.p., 07 Aug. 2015. Web. 01 May 2017. https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/26/how-music-impacts-helps-our-emotions/
“Music and Mood.” HealthyChildren.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Music-and-Mood.aspx