Music: the go-to for those who want a simple escape from their surroundings. It sometimes acts like smoke; we hear it and react to it, but even as it no longer plays through speakers or earbuds, we hum tunes as the songs linger in our heads.

There are songs for nearly anything! From dancing like you’re in a house party in the early 2010’s, feeling like you can deadlift 300lbs in a gym, to sulking in your room as you mindlessly scroll on your phone and so on and so on and so on. There’s bound to be music that fits your energy just right. No matter what tunes you do or don’t vibe with, there’s no denying music can affect people’s moods.

All this is because of a hormone our brain produces called dopamine. This chemical is a neurotransmitter that not only plays a role in being happy, but also in staying motivated, focused, remembering, and more. A great site to learn more about this is!

A great example of this chemical at work is an anonymous Freedom High School student who, when asked in a survey if they listen to certain music genres depending on your mood, said “I do because it helps me feel motivated if I want to feel a certain emotion better :) or get something out of my system”. Another student, Cinthya who is a Junior at Freedom said, “Definitely, the songs I listen to is heavily dependent on my mood. When I’m happy or having a good time I could listen to a song by the Weeknd l but when my mood is down I will mostly listen to Cigarettes After Sxx songs”.

And although music is used by some to enhance or match their emotions, there are others who use it to help change their emotions! In the same survey, students were asked if they listen to certain genres depending on their mood, and these were some responses:

“Yeah, it makes my feelings stronger and it makes me feel better even if it is a sad song. If it is a sad song it helps make me feel better because I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. so basically my music taste will vary depending how i feel.”

“I do, I listen depending on my mood to validate how I feel instead of pushing it away.”

“I do listen to specific music to amplify the mood that I'm in.”

“Yes, I just like matching music to my mood. It feels right to listen to something happy when I'm happy because if I listen to something sad then I'll be sad.”

“Yes, it either helps me feel connected with my own emotions or gets me out of a negative headspace.”

“Yes! It helps me realize my emotions and release those bottled up feelings. Some music for example like life goes on by bts has given me a sense of belonging and it's almost like the song gave me a hug. Music has been my little best friend that's supported me a lot on many things, especially my emotions and feelings. “

“No, I don't think I listen to music based on my mood. but if it counts, i like listening to upbeat/hype music if i'm bored/sad in order to get me out of that mood.”

So there it is: the psychological effects of music. Whether you jam to KPOP or iconic old musical tracks, somewhere in the vast field of music genres is bound to be meant just for you and whatever emotions you feel.