Music Soothes the Anxious Brain


Elise Banks

Cordelia Matulewic, sophomore, listens to music during lunch. Matulewic said, “I find music very fun and enjoyable especially when I’m in school, it works as an outlet.”

Elise Banks, Staff Writer

During isolation/quarantine, people turned to music for release. Whether it was researching new artists or making music in their rooms, people needed to feel connected through the common themes of music such as heartbreak and stress, no matter the genre.

Research indicates that music is a healthy outlet for people going through hard times. According to a study by the National Alliance of Mental Illness, music helps process emotions, trauma, and grief, and it also helps regulate anxiety. People struggling with the toll the year has taken can benefit from turning on their favorite tunes.

Music with a message reaches people because it allows the artist to connect with the listeners. Certain types of music can completely change a person’s mood and even their outlook on negative situations, as sophomore Donovan Vogler discovered.

“I am deeply rooted in music,” Vogler said. “It affects my moods and how I finish tasks. Music has a very big effect on me and my life.”

A Healthline article, “The Benefits of Music,” traces the effects of music on the brain. Studies found that music trains the brain “to pay better attention to events and make predictions about what might happen.” Their findings suggest that music can lead to better focus and higher productivity.

Teenagers especially, have proven to have a deeper connection with music. Toxic households, relationships, and life in general just are a few ways that teenagers have such a better relationship with music. Music such as rap, r&b, and pop are very popular with sending a message out to their listeners. Although the music behind the lyrics took time, and effort, the lyrics themselves have a more in depth meaning and purpose. Listening to a positive message through music is a great way to start the day.

Sophomore Athena Housley uses music to level out her mindset and help her stay focused.

“I listen to music almost every day, and it helps me to keep calm in certain environments and allows me to perform my best,” Housley said.

While music can be seen as a distraction to learning, in reality, its effects help to release tension and stress in the body.

Further research presented in an article from SCL Health “Does Music Really Make Us Happy: How Certain Song Can Impact Our Brain” found that dopamine plays a role in the brain’s reaction to music. The study found that “when a subject listens to music that gives them the chills, it triggers a release of dopamine to the brain… Dopamine is not only released during peak musical moments but also when we anticipate those moments. It’s like our brain is rewarding us for knowing a really great chorus is just about to hit!”

Music allows our brains to relax and release unwanted tension and stress. Although people deal with stress differently, music is a helpful and relaxing outlet.