A Raider’s View - Does music change your mood?


The concept of emotions behind music is an interesting thing, considering it is used widely to elicit emotion in movies, songs and especially live performances like plays and speeches. 

Emotionally, music can be the No. 1 thing that affects someone’s mood. 

Personally, it seems that listening to sad music while I am already in a slump, only adds to the slump, but if I am in a slump and listen to upbeat music that is meant to excite a crowd or audience, I feel as if it is an easy way to push past the slump and at least feel better about my day. 

Scientifically, two researchers and philosophers Thomas Shäfer and  Peter Sedleimer in 2009 “collected 17 functions of music from the literature and found functions related to the management of mood and arousal, as well as self-related functions,” according to an article published by the U.S. National Library of Medical Institutes of Health (NLMIH)

It has also been argued that we as human beings use music as a coping mechanism. Have you ever had a rough day and turned to music to relax yourself before bed? Philosopher Ellen Dissanayake argued that “humans have used music to cope with awareness of life’s transitoriness. 

In a manner similar to religious beliefs about the hereafter or a higher transcendental purpose, music can help assuage human anxiety concerning morality,” according to NLMIH. Basically, this is saying that we all have a reason for music, even if it seems like a common thing for all of us to turn on the radio. Although it is interesting to look at the actual dynamic of how the music allows individuals to cope. 

Have you ever gone to a party, wedding or could not find a radio station that was playing good music at the time? How did that effect your willingness to stay at the party, wedding or not change the station? It is as if we are subconsciously judging the music choice to how we want to internally process the information or experiences we may still be holding onto in that specific situation. 

Essentially, music has shaped history, prehistoric to modern day individuals have been looking to music to feel a sensation that they would not necessarily get without it, especially in movies and plays to further impact the emotional standpoint that the movie is trying to convey. 

So my challenge for you is to go to the gym without listening to music, or when you are in a bad mood listen to happy music, just to see the true effect that music has in on our lives, without us even knowing about it. 


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