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How Music Affects our Mood

Music has a remarkable ability to evoke emotions and influence our moods. From catchy pop tunes to soothing classical, music holds the power to profoundly impact our emotional states.

Let's explore how different genres of music can affect our moods and discover the ways in which music inspires specific feelings.

Uplifting, Energising Music

To inspire feelings of joy, excitement, and motivation, upbeat and lively genres like pop, dance, and energetic rock are the go-to choices.

These genres feature infectious rhythms, catchy melodies, and uplifting lyrics that invigorate our spirits and boost our energy levels, elevating our happiness and enthusiasm.

Try listening to: Lizzo, Declan McKenna, Dua Lipa

Calming and Relaxing Music

For moments when tranquillity and relaxation are needed, genres such as classical, ambient, or instrumental music work wonders.

These genres create an atmosphere of serenity with soothing melodies, gentle rhythms, and minimal vocals.

They promote a sense of calmness and peace, helping reduce stress, anxiety, and facilitating meditation, study or sleep, aided by the fact that there are no lyrics, and therefore fewer distractions, and less stimulation.

Try listening to: Lo-Fi Hip-Hop - yes, that study girl!

Nostalgia and Emotional Resonance

Certain genres and specific songs have the power to evoke powerful memories and emotions, inspiring nostalgia and a range of associated feelings.

Whether it's a favourite song from your teenage years or a sentimental ballad, familiar melodies and lyrics transport you back in time, triggering nostalgia and evoking emotions like happiness, melancholy, or even catharsis.

Try listening to: 2000s pop/emo/punk - your favourite songs from when you were younger!

Note: I’ve found that it’s impossible to feel sad listening to California Gurls by Katy Perry - do with that what you will.

Empowerment and Motivation

Genres like hip-hop, rock, or heavy metal inspire feelings of determination, motivation, and resilience.

Through bold, empowering lyrics and energetic instrumentals, this genre instils a sense of empowerment, inspiring, and preparing us to overcome challenges with a fierce spirit, and rage against the machine!

Try: heavy metal, punk rock, pop punk, alternative

Emotional Catharsis

Music provides a channel for emotional release and catharsis. Heart-wrenching ballads or intense, expressive genres like blues or soul connect with our deepest emotions, inspiring catharsis and offering solace during difficult times.

Who doesn’t like a good cry to Adele when times are tough?

Try: Adele, Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan, Green Day

What’s the science?

According to Pfizer - yes, like the vaccine - listening to music activates certain regions of the brain, which triggers emotional responses:

“The limbic system, which is involved in processing emotions and controlling memory, “lights” up when our ears perceive music”.

Research from the same scientists also suggests that music can ‘pull a Pavlov’ on our brains!

Because we associate certain songs with dopamine, hearing the first few notes, or a recognisable melody, from a song can trigger dopamine rushes, which is why ‘the G note’ and ‘Rick-rolls’ trigger such strong emotional responses.

Everyone knows that music is one of the greatest parts of life! Whatever you’re into, everyone has certain genres, songs, or artists that mean something to them. Music is the universal language, and science is there to back it up!

But this is more than just a fun fact - by harnessing the emotion-inducing power of music, you can effectively influence your own mood and harness this ability to put yourself in positive mindsets, or hype yourself up for scary situations!

The take-away? Stop listening to sad music if you’re already sad! Whack CFM on.

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