Music has a tremendous effect on the human brain, body, and psyche. This first post will discuss the effects that music has on the brain and why. We’ll go over a few terms and ideas, and you can from there gather your opinions about the topic, and hopefully leave some comments and questions in the comment section that I can answer to the best of my ability for future posts. Now let’s get started!
Have you ever listened to a song that made you feel emotions like happiness or sadness or angry-ness? Have you ever wondered why? Well, me too, so here starts the blog. We’ll start with why music can make you happy, and other synonyms.
According to “The Science Behind Why Music Makes Us Feel So Good” by Diane Koopman, the enjoyment of music is unique to humans because it isn’t necessary for us to survive, but it sure as heck helps the day go by. The reason upbeat music can make us happy is because music floods your brain with dopamine, the chemical in your brain associated with pleasure. Music, of course, has different effects on people depending on their individual tastes. Basically, how a song makes you feel depends on if you like it or not. Pretty simple. What isn’t so simple is this whole next part I’m about to write; “[Music] predicts the reward that you’ll feel from a given piece of music based on similar types of music you’ve heard before,” Virginia Hughes, National Geographic.
In other words, your brain tries to predict how a song will sound while you’re listening to it. If the song exceeds your brains predictions, you gon’ feel good. If your brain decides the song isn’t quite up to snuff, you’ll feel disappointed.
On to why music makes you feel a little sad sometimes!
“Having a Bawl: Why Does Music Make People Cry?”, an article by Robert Barry, quotes American pragmatist and psychologist William James, “When listening to music we are often surprised at the cutaneous shiver which like a sudden wave flows over us, and at the heart swelling and lachrymal effusion that unexpectedly catches us at intervals.” If you just read that and said “what the f*ck”, same. In layman’s terms, listening to a good song sometimes sends a wave of goose bumps across your body and it might sound so good that you cry a little. Seems totally normal.
As for music making you angry?
Unless you really hate the person singing the song you’re listening to, music can’t make you angry. In fact, aggressive music can help you channel your aggression into the music you’re listening to, acting as an outlet for aggression, rather than leading to aggressive behavior.
Anyhow, here’s something interesting, according to LAWEEKLY’s article “Can Listening to Aggressive Music Make You an Aggressive person?” by Kristina Benson, your finger length can determine the impact aggressive music has on you. Benson says a study has shown that men whose index fingers are significantly shorter than their ring finger had been exposed to more testosterone while in utero. This is proof that aggressive music does nothing but shortens fingers that should be long.
You know what word I haven’t used in a long time? Aggressive.