How music makes you happy

Why does music makes us happy?  

One of the most recent studies explains that it's all about the release of dopamine.

"You're following these tunes and anticipating what's going to come next and whether it's going to confirm or surprise you, and all of these little cognitive nuances are what's giving you this amazing pleasure," said Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal.

"The reinforcement or reward happens almost entirely because of dopamine."

So does it mean musicians are happier than non-musicians?

This interview actually states that "there's no evidence that (talented people) have a different brain structure or different wiring than the rest of us initially, although we do know that becoming an expert in anything -- like chess or race-car driving or journalism -- does change the brain and creates circuitry that's more efficient at doing what you're an expert at."

Is there a specific kind of music that makes us all happier?

The author of this article explains that "there is some evidence that our musical tastes may be innate, for example, 4 month-old babies seem to prefer consonant to dissonant music (4), but the evidence doesn’t seem conclusive."

"What I really wanted, but didn’t find, was a study comparing the effects of different genres on various emotions.  Does jazz flute make you happy?  Does emo make you depressed?  Do boy bands make you want to puke?  Big questions, but apparently, scientists have not yet considered them a valuable addition to the knowledge base."

To leave on a happy note, according to this source when you listen to happy music, everyone around you looks happy!

Picture from http://www.maxmusic.net/


  1. Confession: trance makes me happy.

  2. I like this blog a lot. I have noticed that ever since I started playing the piano, my mood is a lot better. I know it's kind of a cliche, but playing the piano--even practicing it without playing any coherent songs--significantly improves my mood.


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