Research shows that we spend 40% of our waking time listening to music, actively, or passively (Statista, 2017). Music has a magic power. It can change emotions. We grow up with sound and music all around us. Clapping hands, whistling, humming, tapping, sighing, banding cutlery on tables, stamping feet, and clicking our fingers. We learn to respond to rhythm from a very early stage in our lives. Yet, many of us do not appreciate the real magic power music offers us.
Music can be used as a type of therapy and has been proved successful in treating clinical depression and seizures (Raglio, 2015).
Music can also be used to regulate our emotions (Garrido, 2017). So if we can steer our emotional state by listening to a certain type of music then why not play happy music everywhere at all times? Well, it is a bit complicated.
Different people prefer different kinds of music and more importantly react in various ways to different songs and melodies. While classical music might be relaxing for one person, another person might find it very irritating. Needless to say, listening to music which you find annoying isn’t going to help you relax very much. And so, the best way to use music to increase the happiness levels in your life is to find out what works for you.
If you listen to a lot of music that helps you feel motivated and energised, chances are you will feel that way much of the time, even when the headphones are off!
Taking the time to carefully chose the type of music you will allow into your mind can be a powerful practice depending on what you are going through in your life. Discovering new music is a form of creative expansion. It embeds new and fresh emotions and helps our various emotional states along our life journey.
Spending too much time listening to old songs that provoke nostalgia can even be a way of holding us back. Classical music is often used in movies because of the profound power it has over our emotions. An upbeat classical piece can keep one motivated for days. It creates the feeling of being inside your own movie, proudly and confidently chasing your dreams.
A friend of mine grew up regularly listening to aggressive heavy metal music which led to frequent and consistent feelings of anger, confusion and hate. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this particular type of music, but too much of anything can lead to a negative experience. The broader your tastes are the better. Spend some time listening to a wide selection of music each day. Enjoy!