From Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” to Lauv’s “Modern Loneliness”, music shows us that it can convey emotions


The link between music and emotion has long been debated, with many studies conducted to reveal how music can ameliorate, regulate or decrease unwanted emotional states.

Listening to music not only conveys emotions to people, but also produces emotions in them. Positive emotions are often associated with pleasant music, so it’s no surprise that Pharell Williams’ “Happy” managed to win the hearts of so many listeners. The same goes for “Modern Loneliness” by Lauv. Have you ever listened to this song? In his words? It’s as if you feel every word and every syllable. He expresses modern society with all this depression that seems to take hold of the younger generations. Lauv’s lyrics, “We’re never alone but always depressed, I love my friends to death, but I never call or text,” go straight to the heart. It’s common for music to prompt someone to deep thought, but these songs seem to come from another universe.

Individuals often listen to music to escape reality, relax after a hard day, or simply enjoy the rhythm, lyrics, and vibes that music can convey. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not the only one who feels his pulse pounding to the music or gets goosebumps while listening to a particular song.

The music gives chills

The philosopher Nietzsche once said: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” And we can only tell! If we have to think about it scientifically, emotions are chemicals that our brain releases in response to our interpretation of a particular trigger (in this case, music). Thus, it is no longer surprising that a series of sounds can evoke so much emotion in us, make us feel nostalgic, happy, sad, angry or whatever. The memories released turn into feelings, which is why we sometimes have trouble explaining how we feel.

Music raises your dopamine levels, resulting in a carousel of emotions, a physiological ride that’s hard to explain. When this neurotransmitter is activated, you are likely to feel your heart rate and body temperature increase and the urge to move as the blood in your legs is redirected. This is why dance was born! However, when this process reaches its peak and the brain is filled with dopamine, you are going to experience the so-called chills, tingling sensations in your back.

How many times have you not felt nostalgic or happy when the playlist hit the right chords? Quite often, we bet. And what’s even more enticing is that you often get those chills seconds before the tantalizing moment of the song. This is because your brain can predict what’s next, an essential feature that also helps people survive in precarious situations. In other words, this anticipation can increase the thrill of the thrill.

Listen to music to relieve stress

It is a well known fact that music has the power to reduce stress and induce relaxation. Calming music has long been a remedy for emotional distress, but only now are its benefits being recognized. Web MD reports that patients undergoing surgery may experience lower blood pressure if they hear soothing music. But even in everyday life, music plays a crucial role in the fight against stress. Just listening to music can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart rate.

Several studies show that having a “sound bath” can benefit your mental health. A 2021 overview of more than 340 studies on the usefulness of music as a mental health treatment for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia found that around 68.5% of interventions musicals succeeded. Music has also been found to help with sleep, reduce burnout, anxiety and even help with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Music is undoubtedly beneficial for mental well-being, but if you suffer from chronic stress or other serious medical conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), psychotic or mood disorders, it is recommended to visit a doctor or a specialized therapist. Music could be an adjuvant treatment, but additional medication or therapy may be needed. So be sure to find a doctor who can treat your condition professionally and with maximum compassion, as these are necessary to treat a mental health issue. Even medical professionals can sometimes make mistakes and misdiagnose you, so be sure to seek the advice of more than one doctor to ensure the statement is correct so you can begin treatment immediately. However, if you are the victim of a doctor’s carelessness, make sure you take the necessary steps to file a medical negligence claim in the UK. If you know nothing about such cases, consider working with a personal injury lawyer, as they are professionals with years of experience and they will get maximum compensation for your losses.

It’s all in the rewards

Have you ever wondered why you feel a sense of satisfaction and pleasure when listening to music? It’s a simple and fascinating question at the same time as it’s pure science. The dopamine released in your brain when listening to a song sequence is due to your musical expectation just before the song’s climax. It is this fact that you anticipate what is to come that gives you this pleasure and makes listening to music such a rewarding experience.

Music tracks that help fight stress

Dr David Lewis of the Mindlab at the University of Sussex in the UK found powerful songs that help manage stress and promote relaxation:

  • Jack Johnson – Inside Out

  • Coldplay – Strawberry Swing

  • Adele – Someone Like You

  • Enya – watermark

  • Café del Mar – We can fly

  • Katie Melua – Nine Million Bikes

  • Moby – Porcelain

  • Toussaint – Pure Shores

Sure, the list might be long, but we’re pretty sure you already have a list of favorite songs that you listen to whenever you get uptight.


Comments are closed.