Going To A Music Festival Not Only Makes You Happier, It Changes Your Life

by Chris Riotta

The ambiance of a music festival sparks a light inside anyone attending. The electric energy pulsating through the crowd is an addicting rush that unites every single concertgoer in perfect harmony.

If you've ever been to a festival, you know what I'm talking about (and I don't just sound crazy). It's an adrenaline rush like you've never experienced before, and it's not just the drugs.

A good festival experience will consist of meeting people you never normally would, listening to the sweet melodies of music you've never heard before and making golden memories you can keep with you for the rest of your life.

There are two things every Millennial should do in his or her early 20s, without a doubt: travel abroad to explore a foreign culture and attend a music festival.

There are so many reasons you should invest your time and money in a music festival this season.

Not that I should really have to do any convincing here, but let's back this up with some research, just in case you need a valid excuse to leave work and embark on a musical journey.

Music festivals boost your outlook on the world.

The power of music is an incredibly important and unique tool that aids the human experience.

When added to a social gathering where people from all walks of life have come to celebrate this art together, it becomes a force unparalleled to anything else.

Examined Existence reports on a number of studies that show music has an effect on the mind and overall health of listeners. Research from the University of Groningen shows that study participants who listened to more upbeat music experienced happier perceptions of life.

This newfound outlook may be due to chemical changes your brain experiences while listening to music. Music releases dopamine in our brains, which is the feel-good hormone that gives you all the feels every time your favorite Beyoncé song comes on.

By sharing this empowering feeling with each other while jamming to hits in a beautiful environment, there really is nothing else left in the world that could possibly enhance your mood. Including all the recreational "mood boosters" that will be shared around you.

Festivals are a uniting experience.

People are capable of becoming incredibly in sync with each other, as well as the music pumping through their environments.

When we connect with the people and the music around us, life becomes a movie. It's truly the most euphoric experience that one can possibly encounter in this lifetime, and music festivals are capable of providing this experience.

However, there is something more to festivals than just blasting loud amps and drugged hipsters raging their days away.

Discovery reports on research that shows humans not only experience happiness while listening to music but become excited to hear the different tones and melodies upon the mere anticipation of music.

Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, tells Discovery,

You're following these tunes and anticipating what's going to come next and whether it's going to confirm or surprise you, and all of these little cognitive nuances are what's giving you this amazing pleasure, the reinforcement or reward happens almost entirely because of dopamine.

During the music festival experience, you are likely to wrap up listening to one of your favorite musicians or bands perform their set and be left out in the open, with a huge crowd and zero plans for the next few hours.

That is when the music will suddenly hit you: A distant drum beat may pick you up and carry you to its stage, or a soft electric guitar from hundreds of feet away will grab the attention of you and your friends.

The rush of a crowd picking up in the midst of a band just starting their performance is total ecstasy.

It's festival season, so what are you waiting for?

Eventbrite conducted a survey to find out just how many people are actually taking the plunge and road tripping, or even flying to their carefully chosen music festivals.

The NY Daily News reports that one of five Millennials has already experienced a festival, and 25 percent of students go to a music festival during college.

The survey also shows people are live streaming music festivals as they happen more than ever before, and social media received about 30 percent more chatter regarding the extended concerts sweeping the nation between 2013 and 2014.

But, as much fun as it is to watch your favorite artists perform from the comfort of your own home, you will be missing the extraordinary rush that occurs every day you wake up in the heart of a music festival when you stream the sights and sounds to your phone.

It's time to disconnect and experience one of the most incredible events of your lifetime. Head to a music festival this season. You can thank me when you get back.

Citations: Americans are mad for music festivals Eventbrites study finds (Daily News), How Music Changes Your Mood (Examined Existence), Why Music Makes You Happy (Discovery)