Music affects the human brain in many positive ways. In fact, recent research into brain structure and function shows that music makes you smarter, happier, and more productive – at any age. Listening to music is good for you; playing music is even better.
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm
the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent
and delightful presents God has given us.”
– Martin Luther
If laughter really is the best medicine, then perhaps music is the best therapy for a troubled soul.
As I explain in my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living: There is great power in good music. Music can comfort us in our troubles and woes, and elevate and encourage our moods and actions. It can inspire, teach, motivate and excite. Music can make the mundane more manageable and memorable. It brings peace to pain, calms the contentious, gives strength in sorrow, and hope and healing in heartache.
Music Releases the Joy Chemical in Your Brain
One of the ways music enhances brain function is by stimulating the formation of certain brain chemicals. Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine in your body. This is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the feel-good states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and the so-called “runner’s high”. Dopamine is, literally, the chemical in your body that enables you to experience joy!
I personally have found music to be a powerful teacher and guide in my life. Whether it’s in the music and lyrics sung by a church choir, the melodies and messages conveyed in my daughter’s songs, or even the random play of various songs on the radio or my personal playlists, I often hear what I need to, in order to calm my nerves, strengthen my resolve, and guide me in what I am to do.
According to Harvard Medical School, “Music is a fundamental attribute of the human species. Virtually all cultures, from the most primitive to the most advanced, make music. It’s been true through history, and it’s true throughout an individual’s lifespan. In tune or not, we humans sing and hum; in time or not, we clap and sway; in step or not, we dance and bounce.
“The human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to distinguish music from noise and to respond to rhythm and repetition, tones and tunes… A varied group of studies suggests that music may enhance human health and performance.”
Music can be great communications from your soul telling you of your worth, power, and potential. It can help you to feel great love and know of the joy you are.
“A man should hear a little music … every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful
which God has implanted in the human soul.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My personal experience with music goes deeper than the brief mention I’m able to make of it in the limited space of a bog post. I’ve tried to play and basically failed, yet my daughter has done wonders, and wonderful things for others, with her music. To learn more about how music has affected our lives, and can have the same effect on yours, pick up a copy of my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living, and let me know how the steps I outline in it have helped you experience more joy.