Music holds major weight over mood


UNSPLASH/Blaz Ereztic Music can serve as a healthy coping mechanism when it comes to stress, anxiety, depression and other conditions.

Ali Smith, Arts & Leisure Editor

Music can drastically affect mood.
For as long as societies have existed, music has served as a community ritual, bringing people together and allowing them to discuss a certain topic or person. It has also historically been at the center of religious worship as well.
Sadness can oftentimes be turned around by music, or at the very least, people who are sad can be consoled by it.
Happiness, in any form, can also be enhanced by music.
Sometimes, music can even flip a negative attitude completely.
This impact is attributed to more than just the joyful melodies and the positive messages of the music; it is actually rooted in science.
Scientific research completed at the University of Jyväskylä proves that music can brighten your mood due to dopamine released in the brain while listening. Recent research also unveiled that music can have a significant impact on reducing anxiety in listeners.
The kind of music you choose to listen to really does matter.
Playing a calming instrumental melody during a stressful period or when in pain, emotional or physical, can lower your heart rate and soothe you.
According to, in a study where individuals were allowed to pick their own music to listen to, they felt a slightly greater reduction in pain and required less pain medication to remain comfortable.
Music has even been used as a form of occupational therapy for those suffering from neurological conditions that affect moods, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and strokes.
According to Lake Erie Music Therapy LLC, “Neuroscience has highlighted the unique ways that music is processed by our neurological system. There is some overlap in how music and non-musical elements are processed neurologically. For example, after a stroke, some stroke survivors have difficulty speaking fluently, but they can sing fluently.”
With that being said, music can be therapeutic in many forms.
For most, therapy serves as a gateway to learning how to cope with difficult emotions and deal with challenging situations so that one can move forward and not remain stuck in a damaging mindset for longer than necessary.
After feeling stuck in a depressive funk, music can aid in one’s recovery from the low period one is experiencing and help one move forward with one’s life on a more positive note.
While it is important to feel out one’s emotions, it is also crucial to have the coping skills to move past them when the time for sadness has expired. Music can be one of these healthy coping mechanisms.
As noted by Lake Erie Music Therapy LLC, “We use this robust processing to try and elicit responses that may not come out in other therapies. It is important to note that our brains are hard-wired to process music, even if we do not have any musical training or experience.”
For the musically inclined, the same effect can be reached by creating music: writing songs, banging on the drums or crying over the piano keys. I have experienced this form of therapy as a songwriter and a guitarist. My suffering has also led me to play the piano and allowed me to release negative energy this way, which has proved to be very rewarding for me.
Even for those who don’t know how to play a musical instrument, it can be so healing and powerful to belt out a song in the car or change the words to a tune to fit the situation you are treading through.
Across the worldwide community, people have also missed attending concerts.
For most, when you buy tickets for a concert, it’s because you really like the artists and their music. That’s why it is worth the money, right?
A concert usually consists of dancing, singing, laughing, smiling and making memories to last a lifetime. During this two- to four-hour event, your brain releases several chemicals, allowing you to feel greater joy in the moment and also feel less stressed even weeks after the event itself.
In addition, concerts can serve as community events, making the attendees feel a sense of unity as they bond over a common love for the music and the artistry.
Lia Eberlein, a sophomore English student at Gannon University, confirmed this by reminiscing on her concert experiences.
“Personally, some of my most cherished moments were at concerts,” she said, “Being able to be surrounded by thousands of people and see the artist(s) you love right in front of you is so surreal. It may sound odd, but it kind of gives me shock thinking, ‘Wow, they’re actually real.’
“Using music as an escape is a go-to for me, and concerts really just bring it to an extra level, which is so amazing.”
During a time when we all feel a sense of burnout, depression and stress, take some time to relax. Even if you are crunched for time, you can listen to music while you work on the task at hand.
As finals are approaching, queue up a soothing playlist, with some hype songs in the shuffle of course, and let your brain’s chemistry do the rest.
Hit play, take a deep breath and open yourself up to the joy and relaxation music provides.




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