Music serves as the pinnacle of cultures across the world, using words and phrases, sounds, tones, pitches, rhythms, and beats to establish both meaning and feeling. I personally find it therapeutic to come home after a long day to listen to countless hours of music on YouTube without any end in sight. Why is it so enjoyable?
Music is the definitive form of emotional therapy. Even if you normally experience difficulty with managing or expressing emotions, you’ll definitely revel in the occasional tune. By stimulating the part of your brain known as the cerebellum, the “little brain” responsible for helping you to regulate your emotions and maintain balance and coordination, musical cues elicit various emotional responses. These responses range from the “feel good” sensation you’d experience from a Sugar Ray song to the almost melancholic sensation you’d experience from parts of The Dark Knight OST.
Although there is a biological basis for the pleasure derived from music, our taste in it is very subjective. Sometimes we flock to it for entertainment purposes, other times we use it as a means for introspection. After all, when you’re locked in dark room with nothing but your earphones and racing thoughts, there isn’t much else beyond a little self-discovery.
When you listen to music, it can generate feelings of euphoria or foreboding based upon the kind of day you’re having (or had). Melodies capitalize on our moods and allow us to gain a deeper understanding of their origins. Think of your mood right now. How are you feeling? Might you perhaps want to listen to a certain song or band that best suites your current state-of-mind?
Now that you know why music is so effective, what are you waiting for? Start up some tunes already! There is never any shame in enjoyment, unless you’re listening to Nickelback.