Psychological Effects Of Music On The Brain

Updated: Mar 30

It's probably no surprise that music can impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If you've ever been brought to tears by music or been hyped up while listening to your favorite rock anthem, you understand the power of music to influence moods and even motivate your actions. Music is powerful, it can build you up, but it can also damage your psychological well-being.

In this article, we'll discuss the positive and negative effects of music on mental health, the psychological effects music has on the brain, and my personal experience with music.


The negative effects of music on mental health

Don't get me wrong, almost everything about music is beneficial. However, if you experience sad emotions, negative thoughts, or if you think you're depressed, it might be worth checking the music you listen to. Music can unconsciously impact you in many different ways. When you're listening to songs that sing about being down and depressed, it's natural if you begin to feel the same way. Emotional music doesn't necessarily establish negative emotions, but it could provoke or drag you into a sad episode. You might be relating to the lyrics while it plays in your mind over and over again. The messages that are delivered through the lyrics can shift someone to a new mental state, which can go in a healthy and unhealthy direction.


The positive effects of music on mental health

There are numerous positive effects of music on someone's mental health. Without mentioning all of them, here are some of the most remarkable ones:


  • Music can help you recognize that you are not alone in your struggles.

  • You can express yourself by listening to music. It involves accepting yourself, with all of your flaws and weaknesses, as well as others as they are.

  • Music has a habit of taking our attention away from our daily problems.

  • When you listen to music you've listened to in the past, you can relive the exact feeling and emotion.

  • Pent-up emotions can be brought to the surface by listening to music.

The effects of music on the brain

There is no doubt that music affects the brain. Our brain and neurological system recognize music and respond to rhythm, repetition, tones, and songs. Music can help shift harmful mental patterns into more healthy ones for better sustainable mental health. Listening to music is also a great exercise to keep your brain active throughout the aging process.

The effectiveness of music can be explored through brain waves, breathing, and heart rate.


According to studies, music has been proven to lower anxiety, blood pressure, and tension, as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

Effect of music on my mental health

I use music for almost everything. It motivates me when I'm writing articles, helps me fall asleep, and distracts me from having negative thoughts at times. One particular song brings me back to the place and moment of my being hospitalized. It is not a pleasant experience but a quick reminder of how things once were. When I'm having difficulty expressing myself, music can help me communicate my feelings and make me feel less alone in the world. However, I recognize I often enjoy listening to sad/emotional song lyrics, which can drag me into an unhealthy mindset.


Final thoughts

Should you be careful with the type of music you listen to? Absolutely. Does that mean you should avoid everything that isn't happy and upbeat? Absolutely not. When you're sad, it's fine to listen to sad music, it often even helps, but don't dwell in the sadness. You should be aware of what you're listening to and see what it does for your mental state. Music is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used in different ways. While there are many positives to matching music to our mood, it also can keep us in an anxious, angry, or depressed state.