The Effects of Music on YOUR Brain

We’ve covered how music affects your kids’ brains before, but when you get a Loog it’s certain that you, the adult, will also be subjeted to music for a greater portion of the day. Worse things can happen – and we’re here to show you. Welcome to the sweet world of the effects of music on your brain!

These effects on adult brains can be positive and mysterious. When listening to any kind of music, different parts of the brain light up – we use different portions to process different things. So it’s natural that a whole array of effects follow, some of which science is still trying to explain. Here are some of the effects music has on your brain.

How your brain processes music

1. Music affects how we see people
Listening to happy or sad music will make you think another person is happier or sadder. It’s science. Apparently, music primes us to process emotion – so when faced with a neutral face, we’ll think the person wearing it will be feeling the same things the music we listened to conveyed.

Heath Ledger

To the left – before listening to dubstep. To the right, afterwards.

2. Sad music can actually make us feel better
This is no universal discovery but we found this study that actually explains why. Apparently, “we initially experience negative emotion, such as sadness, and subsequently experience pleasant emotion because of the rewarding effect of enjoying art. Thus, the experience of listening to sad music may ultimately elicit pleasant emotion.” Makes sense!

3. Don’t bop and drive
Music can actually make us worse at driving. This is really hard news to swallow BUT, there’s an upside: silence is worse. The best thing is to turn the radio on and listen to something as uninteresting as the traffic ahead.

4. It can increase creativity
“Yeah, sure,” you say. “I listen to a song, want to write my own songs, tour the world.” Pretty much, but that’s not what we mean Science has found that moderate ambient noise (as compared to low ambient noise) fosters creativity and innovative thought. So next time you have to put your thinking cap on, perhaps press play on the music player of your choice? Just remember: moderate ambient noice. Don’t go all metal on your brain!

5. What you listen to speaks loads about your personality
Yup, now people can correctly judge you for whatever’s playing on your iPod! This study found that what music you usually listen is a good way to predict your opennes to experience, extraversion and emotional stability. Just for reference, Blues fans are creative, outgoing, gentle and have great self-esteem. But we already knew that

Pictured: Two Blues fans

Pictured: Two Blues fans

6. Music can make us healthier
Listening to music can relieve pain up to 21% when it comes to osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis. And according to the same study, it also alleviated depression-related pain up to 25%.

But what about actually making you healthier? The same source has studies that have found that relaxing music every morning and every evening can lower your blood pressure. Likewise, listening to music daily can speed up recovery from strokes, inducing neuroanatomical changes in the brain.

It’s even more good news for those who suffer from migranes, chronic headaches, reduce their seizure recurrence, recover from childbirth, early tinnitus or if you’re down for an immunity boost.

Music makes you healthier, more creative, happier and, depending on what genres you care for, a better person. So why not make some yourself tonight?

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