Ever been on your bike or in the car streaming a certain song at full volume and suddenly all is right in the world?
Why do we humans love music? Love making it? Love listening to it?
After all, music does nothing to ensure the survival of the species, according to that Darwin guy. (I mean, did he ever listen to Frank Ocean?)
So why do we tune in to tunes?
The answer happens when your brain changes amino acid into a nifty neurotransmitter called dopamine. Acting as a chemical messenger, dopamine plays a major role in our behavioural, emotional, and physical functioning. It’s associated with pleasure and reward, but also affects how we think and plan, as well as whether we strive or are focused or interested.
An imbalance of dopamine (too much or too little) is linked to:
- Lack of motivation or desire
- Substance abuse/addiction
- Parkinson’s disease
- Mood swings
- Sleeping problems
Fun fact: A 2019 scientific study showed that “listening to the music you love will make your brain release more dopamine.” And that means music feels good! But you knew that already. All of our research citations can be found here.