Believe it or not, music can soothe the savage beast within you. Multiple research studies over the years have verified that music lifts your mood, it reduces anxiety and can even boost your happiness. Even sad music can have a positive effect on our spirits, according to Healthline.com.
But there’s more! Harvard Health reports that music actually activates the broadest and most diverse networks of the brain. In fact, areas of the brain that affect emotion are not only activated, they are synchronized with the music.
Of course we all know that music affects memories. That isn’t a coincidence. That sweet love song you danced to at prom is activating those regions of the brain every time you hear it. It is the word “activate” that is key here.
Anytime you are kicking your brain into gear, it’s good for the brain and good for you. Harvard points out that music helps keep these brain pathways and networks strong. These networks include but are not limited to learning, well-being, quality of life, cognitive function and, the best one of all, happiness. In fact, Harvard explains, there is only one other situation in which you can activate so many brain networks all at once, and that is when you are engaged in a room full of people or events.
Music promotes beneficial changes in the brain, according to Time, and interestingly Time also tells us that studies show music can even improve surgical outcomes when listened to prior to surgery. And the benefits of music can be compared to those of meditation, improving mood and even sleep.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks.
Of course, studies show that the type of music you listen to plays a role. Try building a few playlists that can help define your mood. Don’t be afraid to get melancholy. Even sad music can lift your mood according to musicologists at Durham University. It can also help define the feelings you are experiencing. Work your way through it.
Other days, you might want to pull yourself out of that funk quickly. That’s when you tap on the dance music. Let the music move you into a new place.
Dance in your underwear! Crank it up. It’s harder than you think to stay angry or sad or even stressed out when you are belting out your favorite song and, yes, shaking your booty a little.
The point is, music helps you set the mood ….. for any mood you might be looking for. Put it to work for yourself. Take advantage of an easy, temporary but proven way to improve your day, lift your spirits and change your mood like you might change the station.