Music has been around for centuries. Since 40,000 BP, it has been an essential part of early human life, for entertainment purposes, commemorating moments, or to facilitate individual expression. But what is so alluring about the very principle of music? Research indicates that music has an extremely powerful impact on our brain and resulting mood. Dopamine is released in the caudate nucleus, which is associated with the anticipation of pleasure. Listening to songs you enjoy thus is paired with happy hormones, leading to positive emotions rushing through your brain.
Similarly, stress and pain relieving endorphins are released – this is perhaps why people love hearing songs while working out. In one study, it was found that cyclists worked harder and biked further when listening to fast-paced music, with the tunes regulating their rhythm and preventing exhaustion. Another physical benefit is lowered blood pressure, pain, and improved sleep quality. Although we may not be consciously aware of all these advantages, and simply listen to music because of its “feel-good” effect, our body knows what is good for promoting wellness. It will naturally be drawn towards inputs that can improve mental and physical health.
Another amazing feature that pulls us towards music is its universality. While languages around the world are specific to particular regions or groups of people, music is a universal language that can be understood and affect anyone. It further unites people, regardless of your background – if you are passionate about music, then there are multiple avenues that open up. Learning an instrument is great for improving self-esteem. Being able to perform in public will definitely increase confidence, and mastering a piece of music gives one a great sense of achievement and happiness. It’s also a platform to express yourself through sound when perhaps just words or other communication don’t seem enough. All in all, music is a powerful tool that always has and will continue to be appreciated by everyone across the globe.