Can Music Impact Your Emotional State?

Quck answer

Music has a significant impact on our mood. It can evoke various emotions, such as happiness, sadness, excitement, or relaxation. Research suggests that listening to upbeat music can boost mood and increase happiness levels. Slow, calming music can help reduce stress and anxiety. Different genres of music have different effects on individuals, with personal preferences playing a role. Music has the power to transport us to different emotional states, making it a powerful tool for mood regulation. So, yes, music does influence our mood, and it can be used as a tool for emotional well-being.

Do you believe in the influence of music? If you are like many young people today, you probably own an electronic device filled with hundreds or even thousands of your favorite songs. At any given moment, you can put on your headphones and listen to a song that matches your current mood.

Are you getting ready for a important soccer game and need to get energized? Perhaps some hip hop with a strong beat will do the trick! On the other hand, you might be preparing for a major exam the next day. To calm your nerves and aid in concentration, listening to a bit of Mozart might make memorization easier.

Your personal experiences have probably shown you that there is music for every mood and situation. Maybe you have even felt the power of music firsthand. We have all been moved by songs that spoke to us at certain times. Music can have a significant impact on the way we perceive the world around us and interact with others.

If you watched the video at the beginning of this Wonder of the Day, you have already seen an example of this. In the video, famous concert pianist and author of the “The Children of Willesden Lane” series, Mona Golabek, explains the special role music played in the life of her mother, Lisa Jura. Jura, a survivor of the Holocaust, played music in the hostel where she lived with other refugee children after escaping Nazi-occupied Europe. The music provided comfort to the children and gave them something beautiful to connect over during a very challenging time.

Is there any scientific evidence to support the effects that music seems to have? Absolutely! Scientists have long recognized the power of music. Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to further explore the nature and extent of the impact music has on individuals.

For instance, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that listening to music can improve one’s mood. Their research lends scientific credibility to the experience that many people have already had: listening to uplifting music can brighten your day and boost your mood.

Other studies have shown that upbeat music is not the only type that can be beneficial. When people are feeling sad or have experienced a personal loss, sad music can be soothing and helpful, as individuals can relate to the tone and lyrics of the music.

Similarly, individuals who are under a lot of stress or facing frustrating circumstances can benefit from listening to angry music. While angry music may not be helpful in a normal mood, its aggressive tone can be beneficial when dealing with stressful and frustrating situations.

These scientific studies have contributed to the development of music therapy. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is defined as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to achieve individualized goals.” Today, music therapy is utilized to help individuals improve their mood, regain energy, and promote natural healing.

Of course, music also has other mental benefits beyond improving our mood. Music can also aid in memory retention. Don’t believe it? Try reciting the alphabet without singing the tune you learned when you first memorized it. You may find it much more challenging!

Scientific studies have demonstrated that combining music with rhythm and pitch can enhance learning and improve memory recall. Music not only helps us focus, but it also makes mundane tasks more enjoyable, leading to more effective memorization.

Have you ever experienced the power of music during difficult times or celebrations? Take a few minutes today to reflect on the music that moves you and discuss it with a friend or family member. Discover what makes it special to you.

Preserving memories is an essential part of the human experience. The USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains over 55,000 testimonies, utilizing audio and video, to educate future generations about the Holocaust and other atrocities. This supports the Institute’s mission of promoting empathy, understanding, and respect through testimony, ensuring that the next generation learns from the Holocaust and contributes to making the world a better place. The IWitness platform features many of these testimonies, gathered through recorded interviews, to share the stories of survivors and witnesses.

Try It Out

We hope today’s Wonder of the Day has put you in a good mood! Explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

– In the video at the beginning of today’s Wonder, Mona Golabek shared how music played a significant role in her mother’s life, Lisa Jura, who continued playing the piano after being rescued from Nazi-occupied Europe. For another story about finding solace in music during difficult times, listen to Rose Schwartz’s testimony. Can you recall a time when music was important to you? Did it help you through a challenging situation or emotional experience? Write a personal narrative about your connection to a piece of music that holds significance for you.

– Do you ever browse through radio stations, searching for a specific type of music based on your mood? Maybe you’re in the mood for energetic dance music, or perhaps you want something calm to fall asleep to. Grab a radio and explore the dial, noting which stations play different genres of music. Create your own radio guide to help you choose the type of music you want to listen to when you’re in a particular mood. Share your list with friends and family. Which stations are their favorites?

– Ready for a challenge? Step outside your musical comfort zone! Ask an adult friend or family member to help you curate a playlist featuring various genres of music that you don’t typically listen to. Examples could include classical, jazz, world, country, bluegrass, and heavy metal. Listen to these songs and take note of how they make you feel. Do they change your mood in any way? You never know, you might discover a new genre of music that brings you joy!

Wonder Sources:

– (accessed 13 Aug. 2021)

– (accessed 13 Aug. 2021)


1. Does music really have an impact on our mood?

Yes, music has a significant impact on our mood. When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can elevate our mood and make us feel happier. Additionally, music can also evoke emotions and memories, triggering both positive and negative feelings. For example, upbeat and fast-paced music can make us feel energized and motivated, while slow and melancholic tunes can evoke sadness or nostalgia.

2. Can music help relieve stress and anxiety?

Absolutely! Listening to music can be a powerful tool to reduce stress and anxiety. Slow-tempo music with soft melodies and calming rhythms can help lower our heart rate and blood pressure, inducing a sense of relaxation. Music therapy is often used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and promote overall well-being. It provides a soothing escape and can distract our minds from negative thoughts, allowing us to feel more at ease.

3. Can music influence our productivity?

Yes, music can influence our productivity to a certain extent. Different types of music can have varying effects on our focus and concentration. For some individuals, instrumental music without lyrics can enhance productivity by providing background noise and reducing distractions. However, for others, music with lyrics can be distracting and hinder their ability to concentrate. It is important to find the right balance and choose music that suits your personal preferences and work style.

4. Can music help improve our exercise performance?

Definitely! Music can have a significant impact on our exercise performance. Upbeat and energetic music can boost our motivation and make our workouts more enjoyable. It can distract us from feelings of fatigue and push us to exert more effort. Moreover, music has been found to enhance our endurance and coordination, helping us maintain a steady rhythm during physical activities. Creating a playlist of your favorite workout songs can help you maximize your exercise performance.

5. Can music affect our sleep quality?

Yes, music can affect our sleep quality. Slow and calming music can help us relax and prepare our minds for sleep. It can slow down our breathing and heart rate, promoting a sense of tranquility. Many people find it beneficial to listen to gentle music or nature sounds before bedtime to improve their sleep quality. However, it is important to choose music that you find soothing and avoid genres that may be stimulating or disruptive to your sleep, such as heavy metal or fast-paced electronic music.

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