How Music Affects Emotions

I love music, and if you know me personally, you know this to be (probably annoyingly) true. I can spend countless hours on Spotify crafting the right playlist for the right mood. There is a powerful satisfaction in a song that resonates with your exact feelings or takes your emotions to a place you didn’t know you wanted to go.

I’ve often analyzed the concept of music’s power over our feelings in conversation and personal thought. Here are three observations about music and our emotions.

  1. Music helps our hearts emote (emoting is when we express what we feel). Like reading poetry, music puts into words those deep seeded stirrings that we struggle to properly express. It allows for honest realization of any particular emotion, and provides a safe and healthy outlet.
  2. Music helps us move beyond emotional handicap. Identifying feelings is important, but music’s purpose can come full circle when we pay close attention to our listening patterns. For example, sometimes I’ll find myself listening to a lot of melancholy music. I can then process through why I might be doing that and address any hindrances if I need to (there may not always be an unknown reason; i.e., sometimes sad music is just pleasant).
  3. Music soothes loneliness. It’s comforting to know that someone has experienced a similar heartbreak. On the other hand, you can be overjoyed when someone puts words to that “sunny Saturday afternoon windows down driving weather” kind of feeling. Either way, it’s a simple reminder that at our core, people are quite similar.

Music does so much more than those three things, but those are the first that came to mind as I sat down to write. I encourage you to ask yourself what music does for your emotions. I’ll bet you will be pleasantly surprised at your answer.

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