Have you ever had a song come on and just envelop your brain and take your emotions on a euphoric journey? Ya, me too, everyday pretty much. There are certain sounds that make me tingle inside and my hairs stand up. The cool thing about when that happens is certain songs could come from any genre, however, my brain has pinpointed the type of music in which it enjoys the most. Also, have you ever had a song trigger a certain smell, memory, time in your life, or even a dream? Yes, me too. Granted, not every conjuring of a memory through a song is the happiest. However, I am so intrigued and enamored by this ability of music to trigger emotions and sometimes to make you feel on top of the world. We all know when we hear a song that gives us an eargasm, we immediately share it on our best friends wall or go to the next party and say, “bro, I got the next song, trust me, it’s fire.” Okay, maybe not those exact words but you can relate.
I was curious about this ability of music so I decided to delve into some information. Researchers have found that songs can activate our visual cortex, which is why usually you try to paint a picture that matches the sound you are hearing. Songs can trigger neurons in the motor cortex, leading you to nod your head and boogie. Also, your cerebellum comes into play, which tries to figure out the sequence of a song before it happens, based on previous songs you have heard.
Hearing a certain song or sound is tied to memories. If you hear a song that played during your first kiss, then the medial prefrontal cortex, where memory is stored, is activated. I thought this was pretty interesting… Since the medial prefrontal cortex is one of the last areas to be destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found that people with the condition can remember songs from long ago, even when they can’t remember what they did yesterday.
Brain imaging scans demonstrate that our emotional reaction to music takes place in the brain. In a study of a woman who had damage to her temporal lobe, researchers found that while the woman was unable to distinguish between melodies, she was still able to have the emotional reaction that you might expect from hearing happy or sad melodies. Imaging scans have also shown that music that sounds happy activates the reward centers of the brain, releasing dopamine, which in essence, gives us the same dose of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.
Is music the ultimate cure for depression and stress? Music has been found to boost the immune system of patients after surgeries, lower stress in pregnant women and decrease blood pressure and heart rate in cardiac patients. Music therapy has also proven to be more effective than other types of therapies in patients suffering from depression, and it’s been shown to lower levels of anxiety and loneliness in the elderly. You don’t have to be sick to benefit from the reduced stress and increased happiness that music can bring. Live music is the skeleton key for happiness because it provides a social bond. When you are around people who enjoy the same thing as you do, a friendly bond is created, a proven factor in the search for happiness.
I hope you guys found this information as interesting as I did and continue to boogie to your favorite tunes and for that matter discover new sounds! Share the music that brings you happiness by commenting so we can all enjoy it and connect with you. Here’s a song that is brightening up my life right now.