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Face The Music

Face The Music Image

Face the Music

You’ve seen it before. The wedding DJ starts to play a song, and inevitably there is a guest who lets out a scream of excitement as they rush to the dance floor. They loudly claim the song as “their jam” and start living their best life on the dance floor. The effects of certain songs can do this to us! We’ve gathered the facts for you on how music can effect our mood, as well as stress levels. So let the good times roll…

“Music is the medicine of the mind.”

John A. Logan


Change Your Tune

Whether you’re getting motivated for a workout, or getting ready to do some heavy reading, or just doing your best to wind down at the end of a long shift, music is usually our constant companion. Even the stores we enter have their own personalities blasting through the speakers… not to mention that coffee shops, road trips, and elevators now have their own specialized soundtracks. With so much music infused into every moment of life, you might ask yourself, “why?” Well, that’s because music has a psychobiological effect on the body. Depending on what you’re embarking on, there is a musical genre to assist in bringing your mind and body in sync with the activity.  For instance:

It's been studied widely that classical music helps to relax and calm the body, bringing clarity and focus to the mind. That’s why many people turn to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart when they need to study or take a test. Some people also use jazz and instrumentals to promote the body relaxing and even prepare for sleep.

Upbeat music, especially pop, tends to boost our energy and our motivation. It can help us get ready to exercise, or start on a hard or boring project. It makes us happy and releases endorphins which help us feel inspired and productive.

It has also been found that hard rock and metal, which can encompass punk and ‘screamo’ styles, can actually increase your ability to manage your emotions and boost your sense of identity. Similarly, rap music has been touted as having beneficial effects on depression and anxiety.

It’s fascinating to see how hearing some notes played together can affect our whole mood and perspective!


And All That Jazz

We’ve talked about how music makes us feel, but what does it do to our bodies? According to a article on the ‘Power of Music to Reduce Stress’ (see additional resources), this is what actually happens to your body when you listen to music:


  • Music sounds move through our ears as vibrations.
  • The inner ear translates these vibrations into electrical signals.
  • Neurons transmit these signals to certain areas of the cerebral cortex in the brain.
  • Dedicated regions of the brain detect the different elements of the signals (like the tone, pitch, rhythm).
  • As the brain puts together all of this information so that you can sense the musical experience, it can influence our emotions and bodily systems.


One of the most distinct ways that music effects our bodies is the bpm, or beats per minute. Our heartbeat has been known to try and sync itself with the bpm of a song. For example, it’s before bedtime and you’re listening to something very slow and quiet with a bpm of 55. Your heartbeat will most likely start to slow down to match the bpm (your heartrate might not be exactly 55, but you get the idea). Likewise, an upbeat pop song with a bpm of 140 will probably give you some energy and put some pep in your step.


How else does music effect our body? Well, let’s jump to everyone’s favorite topic: stress. Stress can be caused by any number of worries or fears that are on your mind. These mental stressors can then begin to cause physical stress in the body. When stress goes up, so does your heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol levels, etc. Knowing the connection between mental and physical stress gives us an idea of how music can affect our stress levels too. If you listen to a calming song which alleviates some of your mental stress, then you will most likely experience a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. Music therapy is used for this reason, among many other purposes. Music is a tool you can use yourself to help lower both mental and physical stress levels and even reap some physical health benefits. Not only is music a universal language, but it’s a powerful tool!


The Beat Goes On

No matter the type of music you like to listen to, it may be worth venturing over into another genre. You may find a new love for metal, or even learn to appreciate the jazz scene. There’s a whole world of music genres and the benefits they bring, so dive in and explore… and be sure to leave a comment with your favorite finds!


**Additional Resources


Releasing Stress Through the Power of Music | Counseling Services | University of Nevada, Reno (

The Effect of Music on the Human Stress Response - PMC (

Can Listening to Music Reduce Stress? Research, Benefits, and Genres (

Effects of Music Genres on Emotions (

The Effects Of Music Genres On The Human Brain - BW Healthcare (

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