Music, help us in these tormented times!

Sep 29, 2020 | Articles

There’s no evidence of another species that has acquired a liking to music as humans have. We love music (well, except for Freud, he hated it, really!). We like how it makes us feel. And one of those feelings is happiness. Something we need so much right now!

When you survey people, they (or we, I’m definitely part of it) prefer to listen to happy music. Cheerful music as in fast tempo and in a major key. That’s a way to define it. And it’s not just we prefer it in a certain style of music. It’s across all genres! Amazing right? We prefer listening to music that makes us feel joyful. We crave for happiness.

So it’s important to know what this type of music does to us. What makes it so desirable?

Physiology

Let’s start with the physiological part. You know how they say that when you smile you boost your immune system? Well, music can help with getting that positive mood. (Beck et al., 2006; Hucklebridge et al., 2010).

So… you listen to cheerful music, you get into a great mood, your physiology reacts accordingly and voilá! COVID-19 goes through the back door. Or it’s not even allowed in. Or we even become a powerful shield against it. Anyways, you get the idea (right?).

Perception

Here lies the importance of . If we think the situation is bad (well, it kind of is with the pandemic, but just hang in there for a moment) we will react accordingly. We’ll either panic or become depressed, our health will deteriorate, we’ll maybe eat less, become more static (more than we already are in this prolonged but necessary quarantine), and more bad things may arise. So it becomes just a never-ending cycle.

Okay. Once in a while we can feel like that and just crawl inside our house and never want to leave it. It’s okay to feel like that. Just treat it as something that comes and goes. It will certainly pass (buddhism right there!). And when it’s difficult to get out of that zone, music can help!

There’s a study that showed how people who listened to happy music and had to rate people’s faces afterwards, classified the cheerful ones as more happy than they actually were. The sad faces were rated as less sad. People that listened to sad music rated those same faces as either less happy or sadder than the first group (Jeong et al. 2011).

So to happy music people, everything looked brighter. And music can help us choose that bright side of life.

Creativity

That leads us to the next benefit of listening to happy music. When we listen to it (let’s say some Vivaldi, specifically when you listen to “Spring” from the Four Seasons…this one has been !) we enhance our divergent thinking.

What do we mean by that, you ask? Well, it’s what we usually call thinking outside of the box. We associate things in an unexpected way, we combine bits of information that lead us to a new solution.

making a phone is more than just a phoneMaking a phone more than just a phone.

Look at that phone replacing all those gadgets, isn’t that divergent thinking?!

To sum up…

Music and especially happy music can help us through these difficult times. We all need someone or something (both if we’re lucky) to cheer us up once in a while. And music is something we all have access to. Music (and more so happy music) can enhance our health, helps us see the world more positively, and make us more creative. So let’s use it to our advantage!

 

About the Guest

Pavle Marinkovic is a Serbian-Chilean singer, songwriter, composer, violinist, keyboardist and co-founder of Music Bit Store. He’s got a Masters degree in Film Score from the Music University of Catlunya, in Barcelona. Pavle has produced 5 records since 2012 and is currently in charge of the Music and Neuroscience Department of the audiobranding firm Sounditi. He is a part of Silentium Project, as the Music Coach, and is ready to help anyone getting better.
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