Music, The Drug of Happiness


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            The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning isn't what you expect. Before I brush my teeth, drink coffee, or even go the bathroom I start my days off by playing music off my phone. Music motivates me to enjoy the mundane tasks I'm faced with everyday. Music turns my otherwise boring ten minute walks to class into an exciting event that I look forward too.

            Staying true to my curious desire to understand the emotions I experience I researched what exactly is going on in my brain. The following video provided a great start.

 

 

            This video gives a brief overview that explains how we perceive music as a series of audio waves entering our ears similar to light as seen through our eyes. Much like sex and drugs, music triggers our bodies natural award system releasing dopamine that creates a natural desire to hear more music.

            This was a great start but I knew there was more to music then just feeling good. As a music addict I have over forty playlists on my iphone each labeled with a different emotion. My playlists encompass a variety of emotions that include, sadness, happiness and even heavy thinkers. Beyond making me happy, music has the power to speed up or slow down time. When I'm faced with a tedious task listening to an up-tempo song makes the work go by faster. Other times I've had experiences sitting on my bed where I've listened to what felt like hours of music in less than 30 minutes.

            I came across an article from Livestrong.com that explains music has the power to shift one's consciousness from virtual time which is hours, numbers, and minutes to experimental time that consists of a state of tension followed by a state of resolution. Since music causes resolution cycles, music with a slow tempo can lengthen the perception of time because one's memory has more time to experience those cycle states.

            Music is a wonderful gift that we can use to release happiness, stimulate creativity, and alter our perception of time. Due to the relatively new ipod and related mp3 players we now have the ability to take nearly unlimited music anywhere we go. Now that I understand how music makes me happy and alters my perception of time I'm curious to learn some of its other effects including how it can release adrenaline or why it often makes me tired.  

3 Comments

I really enjoyed this blog of yours. I too, LOVE music. In the morning when I am doing my makeup I always listen to music, preferably upbeat and happy tunes so that I can get a good start to my day and get motivated to get up and go to classes. I totally agree that "music is a wonderful gift that we can use" for so many emotions and to start our activities. Music truly is marvelous and a wonder. I just found this interesting article online about how music sounds so good to us and why we are intrigued with it. Apparently, when we talk we are making music and so the musical intervals reflect the sounds of our own speech. And that the tones and scales we hear match the frequency ratios that are brains detect. It's pretty interesting you should check it out.

I really enjoyed this blog entry! I was a runner in high school, and I always found it easier to run long distances while listening to fast paced music. Now that I think about it, it probably helped because my perception of time was sped up, so the run seemed to go by faster! Here's an interesting article I found about the subject, it suggests that listening to music boosts athletic performance!

Interestingly enough, I was reading this blog while listening to music. I actually hesitated before watching the embedded video because I was listening to a great song that has been helping keep my motivation going on a Sunday night. I too have playlists on my iPod and computer that coordinate with specific moods and have truly relied on using music to keep me going throughout the day. What I find interesting about my own addiction to music is the fact that I am only interested in listening to it. I have never learned to play an instrument and never really had a desire to do so. While I probably could learn to play an instrument if I really put my mind to it, I don't think of myself as a "musically gifted" individual. I wonder whether my lack of musical knowledge has caused me to appreciate music more or less than a long-time musician.

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