How Does Music Affect The Brain? This Is What’s Really Happening When You Listen To Your Favorite Song
When I listen to my favorite song, I'm usually in my bathroom with the door locked in full-on jam mode, recording an all-out dance routine for the world to see (seriously, watch my Instagram stories if you don't believe me).
I'm not quite sure what's happening in my brain when I listen to music, but what I do know is it's one of the few times in which the movements of my body are completely free and unfiltered.
It's truly a form of therapy for me, and I really couldn't care less about who's watching.
When you listen to your own favorite song, you probably experience a similar state of bliss, too.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, regardless of the genre of music you're listening to, your brain enters a sort of dream-like state of mind when you hear those tastiest of jams.
In a 2014 study, researchers MRI-scanned the brains of 21 young adults while they listened to three different types of music: music they enjoyed, music they disliked, and their favorite song.
They found the changes in brain activity were most striking when someone was specifically listening to their favorite song -- not just music they generally enjoyed.
According to the report, a person's preferred music enhances connections between different regions of the brain -- a pattern called the default mode network (DMN).
The DMN is associated with introspection, self-awareness, mind-wandering, and possibly imagination.
Once the DMN is activated, the task positive network (TPN), which is associated with goal achievement, gets shut down.
Basically, these two states of mind can be respectfully thought of as focus on the outside world (the TPN) and focus on inner thoughts (the DMN).
Ah, so that explains why I can't get any work done whenever I listen to my favorite Spotify playlist!
Seriously, it's like I have to drag myself out of bliss mode because, if not, I cannot bring myself to do anything but dance.
The light bulbs in my brain are officially blown.
Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, clinical psychotherapist, who confirms, if Drake is indeed your favorite artist to listen to, then he needs to be all over your playlists:
There's a good reason why listening to Drake instantly changes your mood. Even though the genres of music change over time to reflect the dominant social discourse and zeitgeist, the pure energy found in music has remained unchanged. This is because music is primal. Notes, chords, harmonies, and lyrics immediately register in your brain and cause it to release a host of hormones and endogenous opioids. These chemicals in turn alter the way your brain processes information and perceives the world around you.
So, it's safe to say, if you need a little pick-me-up, you'll easily find it in your favorite song.
Rock out in your bathroom, let your thoughts soar, and nestle yourself within a comforting space between daydream and ultimate elation.