Psychology of Music: How to Tune Yourself to a Certain Mood Using Different Genres
Sometimes, it seems difficult to tune in to study or do some work, but everything changes when you start listening to a certain music genre.
When leaving home, it is important to take some essentials, including smartphones and headphones. Wherever you go, music will become your perfect companion. Many people cannot imagine their lives without their favorite playlists that are suitable for any occasion. Indeed, music can become your safety ring when you get through difficult times or a perfect travel buddy when you visit a new city. It can help concentrate, cheer up or forget about everything. It works better than some psychologists or strong alcohol. Just turn on the right song and close your eyes for a second to feel how it goes through you. Of course, people perceive music differently, but some principles can work for all of them.
Music and emotional state
When you listen to music, you can experience different emotions that occur in several stages. The top one is about aesthetic judgments that depend on your previous life experience, while the lower one is about biological mechanisms that affect the perception of emotions in music. These mechanisms can be conscious and unconscious, including reflexes. For example, fear or surprise can be a response to loud sounds. One should distinguish between two processes: recognizing emotions in music and experiencing emotions associated with music.
Depending on your emotional state, emotions’ recognition and experience may or may not be the same. For instance, you can experience positive emotions, listening to a sad song. According to one of the theories, it happens because sad music helps sort things out and work out one’s negative state. You get a response inside your soul. There were situations when people walled off themselves from the world after some tragic events and stopped feeling anything for some time. However, when they heard certain music that served as a trigger, they got an emotional punch and got back to the normal state after it.
How to tune yourself into the right mood?
Music can cause stress if you don’t like it. You know that it is hard enough to listen to music you don’t like. It can cause strong negative emotions, and stress affects your psychological state. If music evokes positive emotions, then it is “your” music, and it can make a difference. For example, few people love opera because one should study this genre and understand it to enjoy it. You can listen to music to create an appropriate atmosphere and set the right mood for your activity. Compositions of different genres affect the brain in different ways, so you should decide what you want right now.
It is no longer a secret that music can become a perfect remedy when you need to cope with stress. Researchers have even experimented with music genres that can help your nervous system relax in the shortest period. They used various mixes of durations, frequencies, and amplitudes of the tracks to determine what kind of music would help participants calm down and relax. Most calming compositions were varieties of classic works that resembled Chopin’s music. So, such compositions decrease cortisol levels and have a relaxing effect. Besides, you can also listen to your favorite music that doesn’t have any negative associations.
Many people are prone to procrastination, especially after the weekend. And I know that it is hard for students to get back on track with their studies after the holidays. When I was a student, I was looking for someone to write a paper for me after every Christmas because I couldn’t stay focused on most assignments. And if you want to meet this challenge, a portion of motivation will not be enough. You should create appropriate conditions to make your brain work to the fullest and stay focused. Researchers have found that Mozart’s music and alike compositions improve concentration since it influences brain areas responsible for memory fostering. And the most interesting thing is that peak brain activity occurs when sounds die away, and a relaxed mind instantly starts working. Besides, researchers have concluded that if you need to get your head together and process a rich data flow, you should listen to Baroque music, created several centuries ago.
You feel happy and satisfied thanks to the dopamine hormone released as a reward for goal attainment. And studies have proved that listening to favorite music activates pleasure areas in the brain just like eating sweets, junk food, or communicating with loved ones. When you are occupied with this activity, an increased blood flow in your brain activates areas responsible for emotions, arousal, and motivation.
Grieve for a while
Listening to sad music has a positive effect on your emotional state and helps deal with various issues. Thus, when you listen to a track, you associate yourself with the artist and let emotions pass through your body, directing your negative emotions outward. However, your body doesn’t react to these songs in the same way as in cases when you find yourself in a stressful situation. Thus, sad music allows you to put yourself in someone’s shoes and feel pain without harming psychological health.
Get hot under the collar
Researchers have confirmed that heavy metal music causes a surge of aggression instead of its accumulation. About 40 people participated in the experiment. They listened to punk rock, scream, and metal. The researchers asked the participants questions that might anger them. While listening to the tracks, people calmed down faster since they switched their attention to another object.