Whether you are rocking out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in your car or reading with Bach in your bedroom, music has a special ability to pump us up or calm us down.
Scientists are still trying to figure out what’s going on in our brains when we listen to music and how it produces such potent effects on the psyche.
Music actually affects the brain emotionally because of the way specific brain circuits are wired to respond to music.
The closeness and bonding times that come through singing and dancing together actually release the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone.”
So, when listening to music touches us emotionally, it’s because there’s a neurotransmitter produced in the brain, called dopamine that helps feel the pleasure and connection of music.
Even when the mind is debilitated by the effects of Alzheimer’s, it can still be awakened when the patient hears music from his younger years to which he had an emotional connection.
One of the most beautiful illustrations of this is an elderly man named Henry who was featured in the movie Alive Inside. Watch this and see if it doesn’t move you to tears! The music we love creates memories that stay with us for all of our lives. It is truly amazing! Enjoy!