Music has always been sort of a mystery, this magical mystical unexplainable thing that feels absolutely amazing. Music can send vibrations throughout your whole body with just one note, it unites and comforts. I grew up with music in the house, I danced before I walked and I feed my soul with the sounds of music.
When we satisfy our desire to eat, sleep, or reproduce, our brain releases dopamine - the "feel-good" neurochemical involved when we experience pleasure and reward.
Turns out this same chemical is released when listening to music. Which in my mind means that this can also be used as a tool. Feeling crappy? Listen to some of your favorite songs - BOOM, you're in a good mood - end blog.
Okay, maybe it might not work quite like that but you get my point.
It is nearly impossible to trace when people first started playing instruments for enjoyment, but historians agree it was around 50,000 years ago, when animal bones were made into flutes. What started as a novelty has grown into a daily necessity for so many us. Chances are, you just listen to music before reading this.
So how long do we have to listen to a song before we know whether we like it or not? Or why do we have drastically different musical tastes? Now I don't have accurate answers to either of these questions but a lot of the music I enjoy listening to comes from an emotional place that I attach to it. Even certain riffs will trigger this feeling inside that even though I haven't heard the whole song, just by the vibrations, I know that I like it.
Music-induced pleasures can be intense emotional arousal; including changes in heart rate, pulse, breathing rate and other measurements, like feelings of shivers or chills. Not only can music be used to regulate emotions, many of us, put on a song in order to feel a certain way.
In this age of streaming, access to music has never been easier and so much of our positive life experiences are associated with music; birthdays, weddings and even a slow dance in the kitchen while cooking.
Whether you’re performing it or listening to it, music can increase your happiness, and I'm here for that.
So if listening to music releases dopamine and feeling good is a big part of being healthy, make it a mission this year to listen to as many great songs as possible - cheers to good health, my friends.