How Music Can Change Your Life

You all know the old adage – Music Hath Charms to Soothe the Savage Beast – in actuality, it has been forever misquoted – it’s really “…to soothe the savage breast” –but either way, there can be no denying music’s power to change moods, and particularly from a somber or angry one – to happier.
Most people intuitively know that listening to music when they are feeling down or depressed can bolster their spirits. However recent research studies have shown that music, especially certain tones can clinically reduce stress. Music can alter brainwave patterns, as can yoga, deep breathing, and meditation – and bring on what is known as the Alpha State. Alpha is described as a state of deep relaxation, where the mind is totally stress-free and more open to problem solving. Using music to relax when dwelling on a particular problem then, may not only elevate your mood – but could help you reach that “a-ha” moment and find a solution.
Music has also been shown to increase the level of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which are linked to mood. In this way music has been shown not only to make you feel good – but also, to be a great motivator. For example, during exercise, listening to music can keep you going, or get you to exercise more by helping you to ignore negative feelings of fatigue and focus on the pleasurable feelings you get from being absorbed in the music.

From Gregorian Chants to Gospel Music, there is a spiritual aspect to music that is undeniable. There is not a human culture in existence now or in antiquity that has not had music as part of religious ritual. There is even a belief that each of us has or can find his or her own “Power Song” that can help us to achieve all we want in life.

But beyond “The Search for the Lost Chord” – or the scientific rational of how or why music can change mood– music is at its most basic essence recorded emotion. When we listen to a piece of music we share the artist’s feelings on a visceral level. True, that can be sad, and who among us hasn’t put on a painful love song to share in the misery after a bad break-up. But, by the same token, we can share in the elation of songs of joy and happiness, or any song or piece of music that reminds us of a particular happy time in our past.

So next time you are feeling down, put on Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – or dust off your Bob Dylan albums – you may, or may not connect with the “Harmonic Vibrations of the Universe” but I bet you will feel a whole lot better about whatever it was that was bothering you!

Jason Harvey is the author of “Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals.” He is a Certified Life Coach and founder of the Limitless Institute, a non-profit organization that funds research into human motivation and personal development. Jason’s blogs offers advice, lessons and tips on personal development, motivation and happiness

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  • http://www.2knowmyself.com Farouk

    well said jason,
    that’s a nice coincidence because i just posted a video yesterday about music’s psychology
    keep up the good work :)

  • http://warriormindcoach.com/blog Gregg Swanson

    Hi Jason,
    Music plays an important and crucial part in my life. Music is the yin that balances out the yang…It helps me become more creative when I write….it helps me journey when I require assistance from my Higher self, power animals and Sprit guides. I use music often with my clients and I’m not sure were I’d be without music.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, they are right on!

  • http://www.worldofselfimprovement.com Sam (World of Self Improvement)

    I totally agree that there’s a spiritual side of music. It obviously takes different music for different people to connect like this, but I think it’s there if you look for it.

    For me, trance music connects with my soul. I can’t explain the feeling – but it’s awesome!

    Cheers

    Sam

  • http://www.abubakarjamil.com Abubakar Jamil

    Music have always helped me change my moods and no doubt that it somehow affects the human mind in ways uncomprehensible. Good article.

  • http://jasonharvey.com Jason Harvey

    Thanks for the kind words. I personally find that listening to the piano really helps stimulate my brain. If I am trying to create something or solve a problem if I sit back with my pen and paper and listen to some classical piano things just seem to come to me.

  • http://financialphilosopher.typepad.com/thefinancialphilosopher/ Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

    Music is a much greater communicator of emotion than the spoken word, which is probably why it is so rare to find music, accompanied by lyrics, that is truly powerful.

    Thanks for the thoughts…

    Kent

  • http://www.asparkstarts.com Frank

    Music is the root of all my inspiration and joy. Many of the experiences I have had can all be broken down with a song. It makes me smile when I am sad, dance when I am happy, and cry when the words touch you in a way no one physically can. I enjoyed you sharing your thoughts. I have to go now. My song just came on the radio.

  • http://www.jigneshbapna.com/sms/ jignesh

    ‘I feel the easiest way to feel connected to god is music’

    Music is something makes me feel happy.

    great post.

  • http://www.mypromdresses.co.uk/ prom gowns

    I love music more than a lot of things

  • Andre

    Music is magical!

  • http://www.flashgameport.com flashgameport

    Thank you very much for your contributions.

    Flash game

  • mali

    Music is my life! I love hearing Karen Clark -Sheard wake me up in the morning or help me go to sleep at night. I also like writing music for others to enjoy and get rejuvenated spiritually. I like listening to almost all types of music but gospel is my heart and soul. It’s where I get all of my inspiration and it keeps me connected to God. I also love to play gospel music on my piano and drums as well as sing it!☺

  • http://www.ipagetraining.com/ iPage Training

    This one is good. keep up the good work!

    iPage Training

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  • Kergle

    I particularly like what you said about connecting with the emotion of a particular artist or song. In music therapy, live music is used to enhance mood, but it also offers therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from dementia, chronic pain, depression, and many other mental and physiological burdens. They use live music, and cater to the musical preferences of each individual patient to make it a more personal, emotional experience. 

    Your comment about music bringing us back to a particular place or time is so true, and music therapist have discovered that, because music is a form of sensory stimulation that provokes familiar responses and feelings of safety and security, music can be used to allow patients to express feelings or ideas that words alone could not express. Patients engage in music making, as well as listening, to connect with their emotions in an extremely unique way. 

    The effects of music on mood are staggering, but many people do not realize that music can offer a therapeutic release through many other outlets. Music therapy research has shown that not only can music effect mood and emotion, but it can substantially reduce stress, anxiety, and muscle tension, as well as increase motivation and enhance interpersonal relationships, among other things. 

    Music is a noninvasive, completely natural and safe way to alter internal mechanisms that effect one’s psychology, cognitive functioning, and even physiology. You pointed out that people have been expressing themselves through music for centuries upon centuries, which is why, I think, people connect with music on such a deep, spiritual level. If we can harness the power of music and use it for good, you are correct, it can change your life. 

    • Oakparkmusictherapy

      Well put Kergle!  I am excited to see another music therapist share a bit of your expertise in this area.  For anyone who is seeking to explore the transformative power of music with some specific guidance, call or email the American Music Therapy Association and contact a music therapist in your neighborhood. 

  • Abhishek Dey

    Indeed the true essence of music is to redeem ourselves from all negatives and pain.
    I would love to share my thoughts, if you wish to have a read

    http://www.essenczinformatics.com/religion/gospel-music-changing-lives-forever

  • Soumya 170293

    for me TRANCE music has a element of emotion,motivation,joy,goal achieving power.and that is why trance melody gives me motivation

  • http://www.facebook.com/lordcrom666 Roger Crom

    hears a link whar you can buy music designd just for self improve ment check it out                      http://www.mindpowermp3.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=1291

  • mark

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