Most of us know that music can impact the way we feel. It’s obvious with certain songs. Happy songs make us feel happier; sad songs make us feel sadder, angry songs make us feel angrier, and so on. But that’s just the surface!
There’s a reason that music has long been used by religious figures to assist in prayer and meditation. This is because we understand instinctively that music takes us to a different level, whether that level of spiritual or physical. It impacts our ability to concentrate, changes our outlook, and helps us connect with others.
Even without looking at the brain we can see that music has power. Scientists with the University of Missouri had people consistently listen to upbeat music for two weeks and report back on their feelings. The people in charge of the study found that those who listened to music reported higher levels of happiness when compared to the control group that didn’t change their listening habits.
One interesting thing turned up by a different study is the impact of sad music. You would think that sad music might make you sadder overall, but this isn’t necessarily the case. When more somber music was played for sad individuals, they reported that the song offered them a way of processing their emotions. Knowing that other people are feeling the same things that we are helps us process feelings such as loneliness and helplessness.