More than the Sound of Music

Listening to vinyl

We’ve all done it before. After experiencing a bad day or a break-up, we put on our headphones and place the world in mute. When we’re happy, we choose the most upbeat song we can find in our playlist, and even if we feel down, it is music that helps us give voice to our deepest emotions.

Music is a force that opens doors to our emotions, well-being, and state of mind. Beyond a catchy tune, music affects our mood and has the power to ease our pain (both physical and mental). It can even make us more attractive, but that probably wasn’t a surprise either.

Mood

Why do we listen to sad songs when experiencing a break-up or a loss? According to the Journal of Consumer Research, sad music acts as a substitute for a lost relationship or deep loss. The atmosphere and lyrics of sad music also make it viewed as sympathetic when a singer sings lyrics that resonate with people.

Conversely, the Journal of Positive Psychology did a study in 2013 where people could improve their moods by listening to upbeat music. The boost in happiness has been linked to better health and boosts in relationship satisfaction.

Therapy

It’s obvious that music can affect our moods within a period of time, but how about more serious aspects like memory and physical pain? According to the American Music Therapy Association (AAMTA), music therapy can positively affect these areas. Patients listening to music before, during, and after surgery, for example, reported less anxiety and pain.

Music therapy has also been helpful in treating chronic and neurological conditions. Parkinson’s and dementia, for example, have been treated effectively with the help of music therapy. Levels of depression and anxiety can also be reduced as well as improve quality of life with the help of music therapy.

Attraction

Playing guitarIf you’re thinking of a productive way to spend the summer, you may want to consider finding a guitar tutor near your Salt Lake City home. Listening to music, and especially playing it, makes people more attractive.

A study published in the Evolution and Human Behavior featured 27 men and women looking at the faces of people of the opposite sex. Accompanying the photos are musical pieces that varied by skill. The participants were then asked questions about attractiveness and whether they wanted to be in a relationship with those in the photographs.

The results? Attractiveness was rated higher when musical pieces played were of quality and skill. This finding was more prominent for the women, as they also found that men in the background were perceived to be intelligent with compelling music.

More Than We Think It Is

The impact of sound in music transcends beyond popular artists and catchy rhythms. Music has also become prominent in the role of easing pain, anxiety, and even mental health disorders. Aside from health and well-being, music also can make someone more attractive and more viable as a romantic partner. Music, aside from being an artistic expression, is a tool to heal the soul.