The opening guitar riff in “Sweet Home Alabama,” the drum solo by Kenny Aronoff in “Jack and Diane,” and listening to artists I love who possess amazing vocal ranges like Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and Prince makes me happy. Who can’t be transported by the husky growl of Barry White or the upbeat songs from Saturday Night Fever where you can hear the high pitch harmonizing that can only be achieved by the brothers Gibb?
What is it about music that cheers me up?
Listening to familiar, well-liked songs can release dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is considered to be a “pleasure chemical,” and is a neurotransmitter stemming from the striatum, the same part of the brain that is associated with deriving pleasure from food and sex.
While I’m not condoning drug use, this makes me think of the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll,” which stemmed from the Ian Drury single, but went on to massive usage.
There was a time when I was manic and the last thing I needed was more dopamine in my brain. I listened to my iPOD so loud that now, years later, I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing hearing loss. Perhaps I should have appreciated music then in moderation, but when you’re as manic as I was, nothing is done in moderation.
A quote from Elton John is, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” It definitely has the ability to transport you. For me, listening to music combined with physical activity such as power cleaning is a great way to break through a funk.