Does Listening Actually Affect Your Mood?
10 Nov 2015

Does Listening Actually Affect Your Mood?

10 Nov 2015

After one of those days when everything that could go wrong does, many have one thing in common: As soon as they’re in the door, a playlist of sad music is playing and the ice cream is out of the freezer. They may think that wallowing in whatever is troubling them is helping their mood. And in return, they’re hoping that this pity party will make them feel better the next day.

But what you might not know is that anything you listen to will completely affect your mood. Listen Carefully dived into this strange theory and we’re here to tell you more.

A recent study done by the Academy of Finland found that your mental health is actually linked to what you are listening to on that day. Depending on its mood or tone, the music you are listening to can completely change your state of mind. Using behavioral observations and maps of the activity in the brain as the main sources of information, the scientists discovered that neural receptors acted differently depending on what the patient was listening to, whether it be gloomy or cheerful. Patients who listened to slow sad music often experienced feelings of loneliness and depression, while patients who listened to happy upbeat music found they were more excited about the day’s tasks ahead of them. But the question still remains: How does it all work?

An entire section of the brain is devoted to unconscious emotion regulation, which is controlled by tiny neural receptors. In easy-to-understand terms, your brain is controlling your emotions without you even knowing it. Those tiny, microscopic receptors are functioning differently, depending on what your ears are listening to, and they’re quickly influenced by whatever is coming through your headphones.

If you, like many people, are ready to change the way you’re feeling every day, listen up. Here are three quick ways to keep your brain happy while listening to things other than the five saddest songs on Spotify.

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1.Limit yourself to five slow songs a day – Turn off the slow, sad music and switch to something upbeat. If you love quiet, melancholic music during your morning commute, find a playlist of uplifting acoustic tracks instead.

sea-nature-ocean-rocks2. Listen to white noiseStudies show that white noise is a great alternative to music and also is a great relaxation tool. Your ears will be happy with the sound of rain or even the ocean!

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3. Switch it up with podcasts – Want something a little more soothing for your early morning commute? Try a podcast! With everything from your favorite TV show to the latest and greatest in scientific discoveries, podcasts are a great alternative to soft, sad music.

Flash forward to the best day of your life — whether you’re accepting your dream job or seeing your favorite band front row, listening to a sad acoustic track will in fact change your mood. Find a new way to impact that great day through listening.

If we missed a way that you use to impact your positive mood through listening, let us know in the comments below!

Turntable photo credit: Musicoomph

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