Music to my ears, motives to my action: Music can actually affect your mood

FABRIZIO DARBY

Friday, August 02, 2019

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Before I even begin, let me anchor my claims on evidence from Jacob Jolij of the University of Groningen in of their studies: “Music is not only able to affect your mood -- listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world, according to new research.”

Music has the power to fill our minds with lyrics, flowing on a rowboat over seas of cymbals, drums, and horns. The trap beats, dancehall rhythms, are all too enticing components which our keen ears are quick to pick up on. It is often said by philosophers that we let out what we put in. So, if we are repeating lyrics, we must have internalized them at some point.

Yep, you heard that right. Music can have a profound impact on you. In fact, studies have shown that our hearing is extremely keen to pitch and harmonies, making music rather indelible. I won't flood you with all the data, you can look it up, but just think about it. Think of the swaying of your head, slow, steady progress into a full-on head bop as a catchy tune turns into your favourite song. The tapping of your feet, the pressing of your hand against the flat surface as your pinky finger makes the first descent, your other digits mimicking shortly after. Sometimes we don't even notice. What's even scarier is that you can listen to a song completely unknown to you, not even listening, but simply overhearing and boom! By the end of the day your reciting 'I don't care, when I'm with my baby”. Do you see what I'm talking about now?

Tuomas Eerola, Ph.D., a professor of music cognition at Durham University led a study involving over 2000 people in the UK and Finland and the results affirmed that music does indeed seem to affect mood. The Journal of Consumer Research also found that we tend to listen to sad music when we are also sad, so the inverse seems just as true. Not only does music affect our mood, but our mood affects the music we listen to. Come on, I know you listen to Adele when you're sad too.

With this information that you are armed with, it is therefore important for us to recognize how what we listen to could possibly impact our behavior. We have got to be more cautious with our song choices, especially when we are already sad. I am not always the best selector of music, so I'm probably more guilty of you. These studies, however, they kinda make me wanna rethink how I should structure my playlists, and what songs I should download. Let us try to focus on positive music, and it doesn't have to be the lame kinda kiddy music, some Chronixx could do. In fact, the next morning you wake up, don't just have some tea… get some Koffee.

-- Fabrizio Darby


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