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Why Music Makes You Happy

Why Music Makes You Happy

Music... it's about melody, harmony, symphony, and rhythm; all of which in some or the other way give us divine pleasure. We experience this pleasure while connecting to music in any way, when listening to it, when humming a song or while playing a musical instrument. Here, we will try to find out why music makes you happy.
Stephen Rampur
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
''Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.'' - Angela Monet

Music is found everywhere, in the whistle of the winds or the rustle of the leaves; in the clouds, in the rain, everywhere in nature! Be it from any source, music does make you feel good. It refreshes your mind and makes you happy. Owing to its benefits on overall health, it is even used in treating ailments. Exposure to music in any way, either playing it or even listening to someone play can make you feel happy and excited.

♫ Music is Bliss ♫

Many a time, a certain piece of music or a particular song makes you happy because of the memories associated with it. It's the melody or the lyrics you can very well connect to and that's what makes you happy. Similarly, your interest in a particular genre of music or your skill in playing music can be the reasons behind your happiness derived from it. What type of music makes you happy depends on your interest or expertise in one of its forms. However, what brings happiness to everyone alike, is any form of good music. The blend of melody, rhythm and lyrics in music forms the basis of why music makes you happy.

Melody and Sound
Be it of any kid, pop, dance, gospel, rock, or blues; the melody is one factor that gives immense pleasure to the ears as well as to the heart. A good example here, would be of 'The Final Countdown'. Its powerful keyboard riff creates a kind of energy in the air. Now think of a singer you like for his/her melodious voice, or think of an instrument whose tone captivates you. There's something in their tonal quality, their sound that gives you pleasure. Now consider a piece of music that pleases the heart. There's something in the musical notes, the way in which they are arranged and played, it's the magic of the composition that pours melody into music. Anything that's 'music to your ears', is melodious music and that makes you happy!

Lyrics
Music gives happiness when the lyrics of a song are encouraging. For instance, gospel music which is characterized by its inspiring words. Remember the chorus of the Van Halen song 'Dreams'. We'll get higher and higher, straight up we'll climb, we'll get higher and higher, leave it all behind. These powerful words motivate you along with the tune and the way in which they are recited or sung. There are many such songs written or composed in such a way, that you derive inspiration from them; they have the power to ward off all the blues and motivate you to start life anew.

Rhythm and Beats
What makes you dance in joy on listening to music? Well, the thumping rhythm and beats give you the enthusiasm to dance and dance gives you more joy. For instance, Madonna's 'Into The Groove' has good synth bass beats that gets you in a dancing mood. And that is why songs like these are played in discotheques and dance parties. They give you the high, they give you great joy. Listening to these foot-tapping numbers, you can't help shake a leg! Beats create excitement, they increase your heartbeats. No wonder you feel excited and happy on listening to such rhythmic numbers.

Now let us look at what happens in the brain when we listen to music.

Effects of Music on the Brain

Research says, that listening to music stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain. The brain reacts similarly to the sight of delicious food or anything that looks/sounds interesting. Dopamine is released even when a person just thinks of a musical piece he loves to listen to. Dopamine makes us feel motivated. This chemical binds to the dopamine receptors, and contributes to generating a feeling of happiness. This chemical is released in different areas of the brain. When a person listens to good music, more blood flows to these parts and to the nerve endings which release this chemical. It is observed that good music relaxes and opens up the endothelium of blood vessels, while listening to bad music closes the endothelium, leading to stress and mental fatigue. This is how deeply music affects the mind and brain.

Instrumental, soft and melodic tunes relax the brain and make you happy. Energetic music and fast beats make you feel excited and positive. Interestingly, both forms of music; be they numbers that make you dance, songs that make you sing to their tune, or soft musical pieces that relax your mind, all of them give you happiness. So, the next time you feel happy on listening to music, celebrate the strength it has, the strength to take you miles away to a different world where you can lose yourself to this beautiful form of art... music.