What could be better than a song to make us feel happy? Apparently, not a lot!
In 2014, Pharrell Williams broke the record for longest-running no. 1 single in the Dutch Top 40 charts with his hit song “Happy”. With its cheerful beat and catchy lyrics, the groovy tune has everything it needs to make you want to get up and dance and sing along.
It may not come as a surprise to you that music can influence your mood in positive as well as negative ways. After all, this is also why music is added to movies – to make you feel all sorts of emotions at exactly the right time. Positive music triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that plays an important part in how we experience pleasure and reward.
Besides this, being in a happy mood makes us more attentive to other positive things. We also tend to be more open to other people, things, and experiences, and this newfound openness can actually help us become more creative. This phenomenon has been researched by many scientists under the term global attention. Global attention, opposed to local attention, means that you pay more attention to the broader picture, rather than focusing on something on a more detailed level. Because of this broadening of our view, we are better able to take in more information, leading us to be more creative when solving problems. And who knows, perhaps this could even mean you are better able to see that child crossing the street on your way back home from work!
So next time you’re stuck on some assignment at work or feeling down in the dumps, play some happy tunes to improve your mood and creativity and let all the amazing side effects come to you!