No matter the genre of interest, every person in the world is affected by music. Sometimes music triggers a memory that is associated with a certain song, melody or sound, and a sense of nostalgia washes over you. For the most part though, music has the ability to make us happy. Although most people don’t know why.
It’s thought that when we listen to music that is enjoyable, our body releases a chemical called dopamine, a feel good chemical that is one of the things behind addiction. No one is affected by the chemical in the same ways, of course. Everyone’s musical tastes differ, and some people get their kicks from playing partypoker or eating chocolate. Can’t get a song out of your head? Dopamine is to blame. Even the anticipation of a composition can release the chemical according to the study that first made the link between dopamine and music.
Musical therapy has been used for centuries to help restore our energy and mood. When music has a chirpy fast beat, it automatically lifts our mood. If the composition is slow and melancholy, it will bring our mood down. Music is comforting after a bad day. The method has been used for as long as song, long before it had an official title.
We listen to our favourite songs when we are feeling down, because it is familiar and welcoming. Different types of beat, melody and rhythm affect our brains in different ways. Even our immune systems are affected, and a healthy body and state of mind is ultimately linked to our happiness. Happiness can even be derived from the challenge of the composition of music. The sense of accomplishment afterwards is addictive.