How music affects people's moods

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How music affects people's moods

Music can change a person’s mood in few seconds, let him recall a certain past situation that happened to him clearly and can change his mental state.

Even though most people believe that motivating music will motivate the person who listens to them still there are certain points that if were not taken into consideration then the motivating music will have no good impact on the person’s mood or can even have a negative impact!!

Hove you ever asked yourself why do you sometimes listen to the same music that used to motivate you without being motivated?

Have you ever asked yourself why does the same musical track impact you differently when you listen to it at different times?

Music affects the mood and your mood affects the music

I have explained the concept of resonance in my previous article The psychological effect of music part III which states that a person will feel like listening to something that represents his internal state the most.

That’s why lovers like romantic music, angry people like rock and happy people like techno. (see Music preference and personality).

if you were feeling a bit motivated then listening to a motivating song will certainly give your motivation levels a good boost while if you were down you are less likely to respond to a motivating song because it doesn’t reflect your internal state!!

I know this sounds weird but you have to listen to motivating music while you are motivated in order for it to affect your mood and to increase your motivation levels!!

This doesn’t mean that a motivating song can’t lift your mood but it only means that it will multiply your motivation levels. If you were really down and depressed then a motivating song might not affect you at all because it will find no motivation to multiply!!

So the conclusion is, Music affects people’s moods and people’s moods affect the music!!

Contrary to common beliefs, music can't be used as a quick fix or in therapy if the the main intention behind using it is healing the pain that resulted from something else.

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how depression results from ignoring the root cause of problems and running after quick fixes that doesn't really solve them.

If you are sad because you are overweight then music will help you while working out but you can not depend on music to change your mood while sitting at home and waiting for a miracle to happen!!

How you can use music to motivate yourself even if you are down

Based on these facts I will give you some methods that can help you use music to change your mood and feel better even if you were down:

  • Make the test: Music alone is not responsible for the change in mood but the words in the song have a big effect too. If a certain motivational song didn’t motivate you then its rhythm and wordings might have not matched your current mood. All what you have to do is to make a test by shifting from a song to the other until you find a one that resonates with you. When this happens the track will surly motivate you.
  • Give a little push: if you can do any small task to give yourself some hope or to lift your mood a bit then most probably you will be able to resonate with a wider range of motivating songs that wouldn’t have affected you otherwise. Its as if your mood wasn’t compatible with the music you listened to and so when you changed your mood a bit you became more compatible with the music!
  • Listen to a song that has strong changes in the rhythm: If you are down you might not be able to tolerate listening to loud motivating music but if you listed to a song that starts with slow pace then gradually increases the pace your mood will follow the song along the way up. (For example within temptation-pale, Linkin park in the end).

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Want to know more?

How music affects the brain,mood and mind

The psychological effect of music part II

The psychological effect of music Part I

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