Joy in Music

I sat at my desk last night reading and listening to music on Spotify when a song came on I haven’t heard in years. The song “Ooh La La” by Faces piped through the speaker and just made me smile. My spirit soared.

I started connecting joy and music and wondered why I never thought about music as a way to help me raise my mood. Was it just me or is there a stronger connection for everyone?

It turns out science found there is a connection between music and raising one’s level of joy and happiness in life. 

Research scientists found that listening to music, one finds enjoyable, releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with rewards such as food, drugs and sex. 

The study from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro at McGill University revealed that even the anticipation of pleasurable music induces the dopamine release in the body.  Dopamine is sometimes referred to as the “feel-good” hormone.

It perplexes science because music has no tangible benefit. The intense degree of pleasure associated with listening to music remains a mystery. Music has no clear biological value like food or sex, drugs, money, or no addictive rewards like gambling, alcohol, or nicotine, yet music consistently ranks among the top ten things people find highly pleasurable, according to the research article The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal by Mitchel Benovoy, Gregory Longo, Jeremy R. Cooperstock, Valorie N. Salimpoor, and Robert J. Zatorre

The McGill University study asked participants to listen to instrumental songs, that they did not associate with some life experience, that made them feel good. The participants came up with a wide field of songs in this playlist.

The researches monitored the recipients’ levels of dopamine, found people that listened to music they found enjoyable raised their dopamine level.

So, if you ever need to boost the joy and happiness in your life, you don’t have to look any farther than your music station, CD, or SpotifyPandora, or Amazon Music Stations. It takes only 15 minutes listening to a music list that you love to give you that natural high.

According to the research article, The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal by Mitchel Benovoy, Gregory Longo, Jeremy R. Cooperstock, Valorie N. Salimpoor, and Robert J. Zatorre

The McGill University study asked participants to listen to instrumental songs, that did not associate with some life experience, that made them feel good. The participants came up with a wide field of songs in this playlist.

The researches monitored the recipients levels of dopamine, found people that listened to music they found enjoyable raised their dopamine level.

So, if you are ever need to boost the joy and happiness in your life, you don’t have to look any farther than your music station, CD, or Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Music Stations. It takes only 15 minutes listening to a music list that you love to give you that natural high.

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