Research Discovers the Power of Music

It seems that you can’t go anywhere these days without seeing people tuning out the world by being plugged into their portable music devices. If new research by McGill University in Montreal, Canada is right, there’s a very good reason that more of us are choosing to listen to more and more music.

The researchers have found that the chemical, dopamine, is released into our bodies in response to music that we enjoy.

Dopamine increases in response to other stimuli such as food and money.

It is known to produce a feel-good state in response to certain tangible stimulants – from eating sweets to taking cocaine.

Dopamine is also associated with less tangible stimuli – such as being in love.

In this study, levels of dopamine were found to be up to 9% higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed.

The report authors say it’s significant in proving that humans obtain pleasure from music – an abstract reward – that is comparable with the pleasure obtained from more basic biological stimuli. – BBC News

It’s no real surprise to me that music can have such a powerful effect. The surprise to me is that there are some people who have little interest in music. They’re in the minority but I can’t imagine life without music.

There are some pieces of music that can leave me absolutely breathless with others that can instantly transform my mood. Some music can give me an instant energy boost when I’m exercising or help me mellow out when I’m stressed.

Music isn’t the answer to all life’s problems, and it was never intended to be, but there is something quite wonderful about hearing a melody or lyric that touches something deep inside us.

How about you? What kind of music touches you? Is there a special song that can lift you when you’re feeling low? Please leave a comment or two about your experience with music.

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