Do you listen to music at some point during a typical day? If you are like most people, the answer to that question is YES! We naturally listen to music for a variety of reasons. It might accompany our travel. It might be on in the background when we are studying or reading. It might get our adrenaline pumping during a good workout. Or we might even let it soothe us to sleep at night.
However, most of us probably include music into our daily routines automatically. We probably don’t consider the fact that music is truly important and even beneficial in many important ways. Most things that are truly important to humans have a long history. And that is certainly true of music.
So, we know that music helps define us. But more recently, through scientific study, we have begun to learn about some of music’s other huge benefits. One of those is the impact music can have on our mood.
Most people can probably point to times when music made them feel happy or sad. But does music alone really have the power to control our mood? Researchers at the University of Missouri did some studies to test this idea. They had three different study groups. One group listened to sad music. Another group made a conscious goal to be happy and then listened to upbeat, happy music. A third group made no goal to be happy, but listened to the same happy music. All participants rated their happiness on a 1-15 scale when the music was done. The results of the study showed that only the group that set a goal to be happy and then listened to the “right” kind of happy music were successful in making themselves feel good.