If you're reading this, your relationship with music is probably a love-love one. You could definitely spend your whole life listening to music if there weren't pesky responsibilities like school and work to worry about. Despite this love, you probably don't know exactly what goes down in your body when you're listening to music that you really enjoy. Lucky for you, we did some digging and found out how your brain and body react to your favourite pass time.
You get a rush of dopamine
You know that feeling of supreme contentment? When you bite into a luscious piece of cake or finish an amazing work out? Yeah it's that. Dopamine is your brain's "feel good" chemical. "When you listen to tunes that move you, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical involved in both motivation and addiction." -Emily Sohn.
Hence the amazing feeling you get after hearing a particularly brilliant piece of music. You're essentially hardwired to gain pleasure from music.
Your brain is automatically tries to make up its own music video--seriously.
Researchers have found that music also stimulates the visual part of your brain. This is why, when you hear a piece of music that really resonates with you, your eventual next step is to conjure up some imagery for it in your head. Come on, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Music can change how you see faces.
"After hearing a short piece of music, [listeners] were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard." - The Smithsonian Just heard a sad song? It probably seems like everyone around you is sad. Just heard an angry song? Well, you get the gist.
Going to concerts can lower your stress levels
Looking for a way to be generally less stressed? Spending some time with your favourite tunes can help. So can seeing your faves live in concert. "Watching a concert as an audience member led to a decrease in stress hormones (cortisol, cortisone and the cortisol-DHEA ratio)." -Gramophone There you go, guys. Next time you need to borrow 70 bucks from your parents to see a concert and they don't want to cough it up, just tell them you need it as a way to manage your stress levels.
Listening to music out loud can make you a bit more social.
Depending on how you do it, music can either be a solitary or a social experience. However, a study from SONOS (you know, that expensive speaker company) found that people who listened to music out loud together, versus people who listened to music in earphones, had the desire to be closer to one another. Whether it was sexually, platonically or otherwise, making music a social experience totally changed how people acted around one another.