You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to know that music can change how you feel…
You’re at a club, you’re feeling lousy, and then your favourite song emerges from the speakers, and your friends pull you up to dance. All of a sudden, your mood is uplifted, and all it took was a little music and encouragement.
We don’t need to get into the facts and figures, there’s plenty of those online about what music actually does to our brains to change our moods. If you want those figures, take a quick Google search, then come back and learn how to use this stuff to your advantage!
Which Flavour Would You Like?
I wanted to use the sub-headline, “What’s Your Flavour”, for this section (the old Craig David tune) but it didn’t quite fit, but you’ll see where I would have taken it in a second…
Music has the power to induce a number of moods. It can not only make you feel all bubbly, bouncy and energetic, it can also make you feel drowsy, emotional, sad, happy, uplifted, motivated, or perhaps even depressed!
So all these self-help gurus telling you to just simply “listen” to music to make yourself feel happier, isn’t very helpful. You can’t generalise self-improvement.
What mood would you like to be in? Once you know the answer to this question, you can then source music that you know makes you “feel” a certain way. Now I know most people would answer the previous question by saying they want to feel happy or relaxed. Therefore, you’ll have to find out which music makes you feel happy or relaxed.
The thing about music is it’s not a “one size fits all” area. What might make me feel happy and energetic, could force you to tear your ears off… We all have our own tastes, likes, and dislikes when it comes to music.
Therefore, I can’t direct you to any specific songs, as there’d be bias involved and it’d be relevant to MY taste in music…
The Music Trigger
Music triggers our brains to release certain chemicals, which then alter our moods. Our bodies are just one big chemistry set! So we can use music to trigger moods. This is especially helpful when we’re feeling low, and nothing seems to be alleviating our self loathing.
Stick on some music that makes you feel happier, and voila, your mood begins to change. It can be rapid, or slow, but give it time to work…
What’s quite fascinating is that our brains “label” or “associate” certain songs with memories, just as it does with visuals and tastes. How many times have you heard a song and thought back to a vivid memory where that song was playing in the background?
Perhaps a first date? Wedding? Funeral? Concert?
Once we recognise the song, (which usually takes milliseconds), we immediately begin thinking about this memory. If it’s positive, we’ll feel good, if it’s negative, it might be better to switch off the music or change the song.
Knowing this puts you in a position of control. You can curate a list of songs for individual moods or “mood combinations”, and then play those tunes when you need/want to.
The main idea here is VERY simple, but that doesn’t take away from its effectiveness. When you want to feel a certain way, play specific music that you know invokes that type of mood within you.
It may take a little time to notice your feelings with specific music. But next time you’re listening to music and you feel strong emotional responses of happiness, sadness, buzzing energy, and so on, note down the songs names as they’ll come in handy in the future. Well, perhaps not songs that create moods of sadness and the like.
This personally curated playlist will become your audio buffet for self-improvement…
Wrapping things ups…
Overall, you can use music to change your mood by learning your taste in music, and how certain songs impact your emotional state.
Over time, you’ll be able to curate a playlist consisting of songs that make you feel a certain way. For example, you could have an entire playlist of 20 songs that you know make you feel happier. Then you can use the “happiness playlist” when you feel low or sad. Do this for as many positive emotional states as you can.
You could create a playlist for “motivation” and use it when at the gym, in the car on the way to interviews or any other potentially stressful environment to create focus and strength. The possibilities are almost endless. Get creative with how you use and listen to music…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post, remember to “like”, “share” and “comment” below!