Why does music make us feel good?

Few things can stir the emotions like listening to music. Talk about good vibrations!

13th February 2018
Why does music make us feel good?

Asked by: Ammar El-Beik (Age 12), Winnersh

At a basic level, it is to do with how our brains have evolved to find it rewarding to look for and find meaningful patterns in sound. Research suggests there is something particularly satisfying about a piece of music that is in some ways familiar, but also contains a few surprises.

Music can also make us feel good by amplifying our current mood (think of the ‘pleasure’ of wallowing in a sad song when you’re feeling down); it can also trigger fond or poignant memories. Then there’s the social side: singing along with friends to a new tune from your favourite band fosters a powerful sense of belonging.

Read more:

 


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.