Happy Music Makes You Happier, How?

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In this BIT: Why does happy music actually make us happier? Well, you’re about to find out. Plus, discover our free happy music playlists, filled with music that makes you happier.

Are you ever having a bad day? Feeling overwhelmed in class? Just want to unplug from the real world? Here’s an easy, one-step solution: listen to music.  Happy music can in fact make you happier, here’s how. 

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Types of Music → Mood

The type of music you select has an impact on your mood!  Take a look at this:

Fast Music → More alert & focused

Upbeat Music → More optimistic about life

Slower Music → Relax and quiet mind and muscles 

Teen girl wearing an orange top, laying down on a white bed. She is listening to music through white earbuds, with her eyes closed. On the right, "Slow Music = Relaxed Mind" is written.

Science has actually shown that the beat, frequency and tempo of music is associated with our mood.  Music with over 60 beats-per-minute, such as hip hop, results in your brain syncing with the beat of the music.  This sync creates alpha brainwaves, which are also present when you’re feeling relaxed. 

When you listen to your favorite songs, a happiness neurotransmitter, dopamine, is released.  Dopamine activates our brain’s reward and pleasure system, providing us with an instant mood boost.  Fast tempos evoke energy in our brain, and slow tempos relax us.  

Try This:

Although the music that you listen to daily is a choice you make, there is science behind specific types of music making you happier.  Nature sounds, such as ocean waves, rainstorms, and birds are found to be relaxing.  Music with high frequencies, including dance music, hiphop, and pop are all found to make people happier.  Create a playlist with your favorite songs from these genres, and see if they make you happier.  However, if you’re not a fan, don’t force yourself into listening to these genres. The unhappiness you are experiencing by forcing yourself to listen to music you don’t enjoy counteracts the benefits.

Stuck? Try one of our free happy music playlists featuring mood-boosting music:

We hope that the next time you need a mood boost, you try a new genre of happy music, and get a small bit of happiness.


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For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.

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