How Music Influences Mood

Many things affect our mood on a daily basis. For example, eating chocolate or having a cup of coffee releases endorphins, also known as the “hormones of happiness”. A similar effect is produced by exercising or betting on websites such as Pinnacle. If you are a betting fan, great betting odds you get with Pinnacle Vip Code are sure to lift your mood.

One of the things that influences our mood most often is music. Ever since ancient prehistoric times, humans have been using music as a form of expression in various cultural contexts. Even new-borns have a wide range of musical abilities, suggesting that they might be innate and that human brain is literally hard-wired for music.

Since music is such an important part of our lives, scientists are trying to understand how we process music and how it affects us. A significant part of this research is dedicated to the influence of music on our mood and emotions.

One of the interesting recent discoveries shows that listening to sad music does not necessarily make us sad. In fact, sad music can be enjoyable and can lead to an improvement in mood. Musicologists at Durham University and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, identified two kinds of positive sadness: “Comforting Sorrow” (including feelings of comfort, tenderness, peacefulness and sad but elated feeling, often linked with memories) and “Sublime Sorrow” (including feelings of transcendence, being moved, joy and pleasant melancholia related to the aesthetic appreciation for the music). We are especially likely to engage in listening to sad music in times of emotional distress, when going through a trauma such as loss of the loved one, personal failures or when we are feeling particularly lonely, and it may, in fact, help us to deal with the pain we feel. Still, a significant number of people reported that they felt genuinely bad listening to sad music and the negative feelings were generally caused by a sad memory linked to the music.

Tuomas Eerola and Henna-Riikka Peltola published the results of this research in the journal PLOS. They state that the most common reasons for listening to sad music included getting in touch with emotions, reminiscing about past events, re-experiencing past feelings, and getting comfort from the music.

Professor Adrian North from Curtin University claims that the emotional response people have to music depends on two main factors: “The first is whether it’s considered to be pleasant or unpleasant, and the second is how ‘active’ versus ‘sleepy’ the music is. So, ‘exciting’ music might be something that we deem to be pleasant and active, while ‘relaxing’ music is something we perceive to be pleasant and sleepy. We might think a piece of music is boring if it’s sleepy and unpleasant, or unsettling if it’s active or unpleasant.” (Source: The Huffington Post Australia)

But this explanation only works for a piece of music we are listening for the first time. If we are listening to a song we are familiar with, there are other factors to consider, such as personal experience: what were the circumstances when we heard the song, what does it remind us of, what kind of memories it evokes, etc.

Professor North thinks that we are witnessing a historic moment in the way music influences our lives, because technology has allowed us access to music at a scale never seen before: “I find it incredibly exciting because at the moment, we are seeing a perfect marriage between the theoretical understanding of how music works and the technology that allows us to use it pretty much whenever we want.”