Music and emotion, emotion and music. This wonderful combination accompanies us in our everyday life from birth until die. We incorporate music by cooking, working, walking, studying and many other tasks that would not be the same without it.
But how does it really influence us?
Well, the music we like encourages the release of dopamine, a hormone related to the sense of well-being and also released when we eat or have sex.
This could explain why according to our mood we are more inclined to listen to one type of music or another. In 2011, David Huron conducted a study in Ohio (United States) with the intention of checking why when we are sad we have a greater tendency to listen to music related to this emotional state. It was observed that when we experience the emotion of sadness, a hormone known as prolactin is released, which generates a psychological effect of consolation. Therefore, listening to sad music promotes the release of this hormone.
The study of music from the psychological perspective is so deep that even the existence of an area encompassed within this discipline, the Psychology of Music, is even suggested. This arises in the early twentieth century and relates to the measurement and study of aspects as the psychophysiological and biological basis of music, its relationship with theories based on developmental psychology and with theories about human behaviour. From this study it is also extracted that the musical melody is processed in the diencephalon, a brain structure related to emotional processing.
Music is also used for therapeutic purposes. Music therapy is defined as: the use of music and/or its elements (sound, rhythm, melody and harmony) to facilitate and promote communication, learning, mobilization, expression, organization or other relevant therapeutic objectives, in order to attend the physical, psychic, social and cognitive needs.
Is it advisable listening to music if you are working?
In this area, music can be a double-edged sword. If you are performing a monotonous task or requiring little concentration listening to music increases the effectiveness of your performance. However, if the task requires concentration, listening to music with lyrics negatively influences performance.
Music is present in our daily life having a great influence on us. So, it is in your hand to choose carefully the songs that will accompany you throughout life.