Psychology or Just Cool?
You’re ready to relax, study, or maybe even go for a run. You throw on some headphones and turn up some of your favorite music. It feels good, right? Maybe you start to tap your feet, bob your head, or possibly get the chills from that really emotional chorus. It’s hard to deny. When a movie has a great soundtrack, it’s just better! What exactly is happening and why does it feel so great to listen to music?
That’s what we dive into today. The key of the music definitely has something to do with the way that we feel. A Major key would be happier, while a Minor Key would most likely be a more sad or dark song. For example Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas and Let It Be by the Beatles are both written in C Major, while on the other hand Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd and Scar Tissue by The Red Hot Chili Peppers are written in D Minor which explains the difference in the emotions experienced if we compared the songs.
While we know that music can affect us physically, it’s the neuroscience aspect that required intensive cognitive studies. One of the first things that happens when we listen to music is our brain releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes us to feel happy. We can even get an early dopamine rush before intense parts of a song if our brain is familiar with it from having previously listened. Besides simply making us feel good or happy, there has been studies where music is good for your health. There’s also been evidence where listening to music increases antibodies in our human immune systems! Along with this, there’s been other studies showing how music has helped with things such as depression and even Parkinson’s disease. It doesn’t just stop there though. People who learn instruments usually experience improvements such as increase in memory, learning, and auditory processing.