The correlation between music and mood is larger than we realize. Whether it be the genre, artist, or even just the specific song, there are many different elements of music that can impact our emotions.
Let’s say you are listening to your favorite upbeat song. When you start feeling happy, your heart rate begins to increase. This leads to higher blood pressure, dilated pupils, and the release of dopamine. There are multiple ways in which music can evoke our brain and its many functions. A trial done by the World Journal of Psychiatry concluded that music is a valid source of therapy that can reduce depression and anxiety, while also improving one’s self-esteem, mood, and quality of life.
If upbeat and happy music can be used as a source of therapy to get rid of anxiety and depression, then what does sad music do?
An article published by Healthline states, “Even sad music brings most listeners pleasure and comfort, according to recent research from Durham University in the United Kingdom and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, published in PLOS ONE. Conversely, the study found that for some people, sad music can cause negative feelings of profound grief.”
Sad songs can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the scenario that you are in. For example, you could be driving home after a long day of work and wanting to listen to slower songs to cool down. On the other hand, you could be going through a difficult time in your life, and sad music is merely a coping mechanism to brighten your mood.
Other aspects such as lyrics and tempo have also been proven to deeply impact people’s emotions.
According to Psychology Today’s Shahram Heshmat Ph.D., “Artists use their lyrics that resonate with the listener’s personal experience and can give voice to feelings or experiences that one might not be able to express oneself.”
Music is a universal language that can have a variety of effects on a person. The next time you’re feeling down or disappointed, just hit the play button and let the music do its work!