Well-Being//

Try This Now: Use Music to Instantly Boost Your Mood

Here’s how to choose the perfect playlist, according to science.

Courtesy of Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock

We all need a pick-me-up from time to time. There are a variety of science-proven ways to boost your mood, from meditations to mantras, but one key (and easy!) method is listening to music. According to research, there are several ways to enhance the effects of music on your state of mind. 

First, find a song that reflects the rhythm you need — use a faster track to feel energized, and a slower track to calm down from a reactive mindset. Science shows that our physiological rhythms actually sync up with music, altering our heart rate and reducing anxiety. 

Next, take advantage of conditioning. Your mind is constantly conditioned by your environment and mood. This is why, according to research, the emotions you feel when listening to music are strongly tied to episodic memories you experienced while listening to that music previously. If you need to boost your mood, choose songs that you associate with happy times. 

Finally, consider watching the music video. Thanks to mirror neurons, a brain mechanism that makes humans subconsciously inclined to imitate each other, emotions are contagious. If you watch the music video of an upbeat song and the singer is clearly having a good time, your brain will often mimic this feeling, creating an instant burst of joy.

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