Need a pick me up? Try Music!

Did you know that music can elevate your mood? It is even known to help with the recovery of stress. But not all music has this effect, it depends on the kind of music. Classical music is beneficial for stress recovery were heavy metal is not. It has also been seen that when the music is self-selected, the effect is even more pronounced. 

In one study they investigated the effect of music on mood and stress recovery. They gave a group of 123 participants a stressful arithmetic task where they asked the participants to count back from 9000 with steps of 17. During the task the participant were stressed several times e.g., interruption by a disapproving noise. After the task, the participants were divided in four groups. One group listened to self-chosen relaxing music (music that induced a relaxing feeling), a second group listened to self-chosen happy music (music that induced happiness), a third group listened to an audiobook and the last group sat in silence. Before and after the task the negative and positive affect and blood pressure was measured. They saw that the self-chosen relaxing or happy music increased the mood of the participants, but the recovery of the stress induced blood pressure was delayed. Thus, in this study they concluded that music is a mood enhancer but does not help with the physical recovery of stress.

So, if you’re feeling a bit down because of a lockdown or a rainy day, put on your favorite happy or relaxing music and see what happens to your mood!

Writer: Chantal Calis

This blog was based on the article: Radstaak, M., Geurts, S. A., Brosschot, J. F., & Kompier,

M. A. (2014). Music and Psychophysiological Recovery from Stress. Psychosomatic

Medicine76(7), 529–537.

Photos are from: which were taken by Andrea Piacquadio

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