Feeling Down? Turn Up the Radio!


| 12 Comments
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Everyone feels stressed, upset, or angry at point, right?! But everyone deals with their emotions differently. For me, I deal with my emotions with music. Am I alone with this one? My guess is probably not. Have you ever been down, then turned on your favorite song, and magically everything is better somehow? Well, there's a reason behind that sudden change of emotion. According to Mrs. Emily Sohn of Discovery News, listening to music causes the release of dopamine. which is the chemical in your brain that makes you feel good. There had to be some reason why music has been around for so long, people love to feel good and be happy!

But of course, some people enjoy music more than others. Maybe instead of jamming out to your favorite band, you pick up a book and read off the stress. It's about what works for you. Basically whatever you enjoy doing, and whatever makes you feel good, releases the dopamine chemical in your brain.

I read a fascinating article on CNN.com called This is your brain on music, which listed a few health benefits that listening to music can offer. One mind-blowing study done in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences proved that patients undergoing surgery who listened to music before hand, had less anxiety than those who just took drugs and didn't listen to music. That study to me is absolutely remarkable. In this CNN article it states that Daniel Levitin and his colleagues performed 400 studies on whether or not listening to music is a physiological benefit and the answer is yes.

Of course everyone has their "go to" songs or bands they turn on when they need it most. Mine is a band called moe. Moe. has brought me from tears to laughter in the matter of seconds. I'm more passionate about them than I am about anything else really, which is shocking sometimes. I've been touring with this band for the past 4 years now, and I'm having the time of my life. I've come to know all of moe. on a more personal level within this last year and it's truly surreal, they're absolutely brilliant. If anyone else enjoys moe., lets be friends. We will have a lot to talk about, I can talk moe. for days! 

So if you ever wondered "Does music really make me happier", the answer is YES! 
Now go play some tunes and release those happy chemicals! :D

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!

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Images from Google and here.

12 Comments

What a great blog, Carissa! I actually did a blog in the last blogging period where I mentioned something about dopamine being released in the brain. This is the chemical that gives people, what many refer to as, "runner's high". I am a runner myself so I definitely experience runner's high on many occasions. But I also get a "runner's high" whenever I am dancing. It is one of the greatest feelings. All of a sudden, you feel awesome and you feel like you can accomplish anything! I think that is really cool that they did a study that found a correlation between listening to music before surgery and having less anxiety. I found a great article where Dr.Oz discusses how dopamine levels in the brain can affect eating habits. Check it out!

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dopamine-diet

I also did research on this, where I wondered if music actually makes someone happy or sadder, thus changing their emotion. When I am running, I feel really happy and dance music really get me going. I also know that certain music helps dopamine ge released in the brain. Sometimes listening to music will reduce my anxiety or take me out of a bad mood.

This is a really interesting blog topic! Music has always been important to me, but I never thought there was an actual "mood" benefit to listening to it. What really interests me is that (like you said) everyone has their "go to" song... Every single person has a different "something" that releases the dopamine in our brains to make us feel happy. It's important that people do what makes them happy, whether it's listening to music, or like Carolyn said even running! The happier you are, the more productive you are, which is definitely beneficial for us college students. Check out this article about happiness and productivity in the workplace: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/do-happier-people-work-harder.html?_r=0

I really enjoyed your article Carissa! That's also crazy how you've been touring with that band, I most definitely have to look them up. But I've always agreed with what your saying on behalf of music making you happy. It turns out music can have other affects on your body as well! I've heard of classical music helping with your studies and concentration, then heavy metal making you more aggressive. Turns out music has many affects! It is a lot like television and can really influence one's mindset. Here's an article that lists several other ways music can affect your body...
http://www.cracked.com/article_18405_7-insane-ways-music-affects-body-according-to-science.html

Wow guys, thanks for commenting, I really appreciate it! :) It's nice to know that my classmates read my blog posts and actually take interest in the topics as well. All of you have made some awesome points and your links are great too. Thanks for listening and sharing!

I did a similar blog to yours (here:
http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa13/2013/09/music-the-universal-happy-pill.html). I almost always have music on as it boosts my mood. I think there need to be more studies on how different music types affect mood and feeling as well. At some point maybe we can use music to boost physical or mental abilities!


I find that listening to music helps me create a better sense of nostalgia for certain events. When specific music is released during certain points in my life, when I hear that song in the future, it brings me back to those times. Sad songs remind you of heartbreak, upbeat songs remind you of nights out with friends, classical music has been rumoured to benefit studying and memory. It is indeed true that songs are tied in with past experiences, and have a variety of effects on us. Scientists suggest that we tie melodies together with familiar places and people. Music serves as a trigger for many mental states, including the one that reminds us of our past. Here is the same concept more scientifically explained: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/02/24/brain-center-links-music-memory-and-emotion/4309.html

I love this blog!! I love listening to music because it can helps me get through things. I didn't know about the "dopamine" in your brain. So thanks for teaching me something. I wonder have you ever heard of Musicovery: http://musicovery.com/ ? This lets you play around with your mood and it plays songs based on how you feel.

I really can not imagine what I would do without music. I am actually listening to music now as I am blogging and commenting. While reading this blog, I was thinking about how I always listen to a certain type of music that fits my mood that day or time during the day. I listening to music while walking to class, working out, doing homework, pretty much anytime of the day I am by myself. I believe, through personal experience, that listening to music can help you stay focused, help you get through problems, or boost your mood. This article ( http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Music-and-Mood.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token ) made me really think about how much music impacts a lot that we do. The coolest thing I read off that article , that I never even thought about, is that dentist play music to help nervous patients. Thinking about everytime I go to the dentist, they are always playing soothing, relaxing music. It is amazing to think that music has such an impact on us, in so many different ways. I don't know what I would do without music, personally. It's something that will always be there for you, in any mood.

Music is a great way to relax for me because it seems that whatever situation I'm in I can find a song that seems like it matches my life perfectly which makes it comforting to relate to. I love music and most kinds, but I have to say, I've never been one for any kind of screamo music. This also made me wonder if some music can have a bad side effect on our mood and mental ability. Here's a website that talks about how certain musics (like screamo) can have a negative effect on us and possible discoveries they're hoping to come across from observational studies (as of now anyway).

http://www.metalsucks.net/2011/11/09/just-a-lot-of-noise-about-nothing-dr-katrina-mcferran-responds-to-justin-foleys-response-to-her-study-on-teens-music-and-depression/

Well I must say that I'm very flattered that you all enjoyed my blog post and some of you even learned something from it. I also want to thank you for commenting and sharing ideas/thoughts with us!

Now I want to discuss the excellent point Alyssa made about certain music effecting your mood in a positive or aggressive way. Now that she brings it to my attention, she is absolutely right. I wasn't thinking about the negative effects some music may have on people. I personally don't really listen to screamo music so that genre totally slipped my mind. I feel that in general, the song you're listening to describes your current mood, or puts you in a particular mood based on the song. Does that make sense? And does that go for anyone else as well?

This is perfect because like all of you, I have music constantly in my ears to keep my mood upbeat and give me motivation to do things outside of my interest (school). Over the past few years music has been such a huge part of my life because it was one thing that is always there to cheer you up and make you feel connected with something. I definitely agree that different types of music have different effects on you like old songs bringing back memories good and bad. I have had many different phases of music throughout my life, from punk rock to metal to alternative, depending on my attitude and age at the time. As I grew up and went through some tough times, I needed a happy pill of some sort and for me it is Electronic Dance Music. It has kind of taken over any other music because or the positive vibes it sends through my body. There is not a way to be unhappy when listening because it makes one want to dance and leaves all other problems out the door. Also, the connection with others who enjoy it is stronger than other music and creates greater bonds with people as I've found. I feel like many people have become fans of the music because it brings them into their own world, which is good for many people who need a break from the stress and anxiety they might have. I've become a more positive person since and its incredible what music and people can do to the brain.

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