Music for different moods


Daniela Ossa Lopez

In this illustration by Daniela Ossa Lopez, colored headphones and two different people can be seen.

Music has given us the power to tap into our emotions and allows us to get to know deeper parts of ourselves. Listening to a song linked to a memory can bring on that nostalgic feeling we enjoy.

Our brains process music through sound waves that enter our eardrums. The sound waves cause the tiny bones in our ears to vibrate. The vibrations then send signals to our brain, releasing the chemical dopamine, giving us pleasant sensations.

Through music, we are able to relate to one another and share the emotion of a song. Music is a form of emotional expression, and it is the art of storytelling through sound. Due to the pandemic, most concerts, shows and festivals have been postponed. Artists such as Omar Apollo and Umi have given live quarantine performances on YouTube.

During the 2020 lockdown, some musicians went to the effort to surprise us with new releases. The Weeknd held a high platform with his new debut album “After Hours”. PARTYNEXTDOOR, Dej Loaf, Lil Uzi Vert and Jhene Aiko are a few other musicians who gifted us with their newest releases. Under the lockdown, the new wave of bedroom pop and indie pop have grown a liking to the mass.

What music are you tuning into these days? It can be a struggle to get up in the morning, but putting on a positive song can help welcome the day. “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, Bobby McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and Roy Ayer’s song “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” are a few of my recommendations.

In theory, music can be a warm-up for your brain before transmitting information. Even a month into the semester, motivation can be lacking or you may be overwhelmed. Listening to music may be the solution to your problem. Music therapy can release stress, improve memory, manage pain and improve motivation. A few studies from Harvard Health Publishing prove this point. According to them, a 2006 study of 60 adults with chronic pain “found that music was able to reduce pain, depression, and disability. And a 2009 meta-analysis found that music-assisted relaxation can improve the quality of sleep in patients with sleep disorders.” Listening to contemporary music is a resourceful way to stay focused. During my studies, listening to Lofi Beats have helped keep me on track.

Music helps me cope with emotions like anger, confusion, happiness, or hurt. Type in your favorite genre or whichever emotional state you are in into the search engine and stream old or new songs. Remember to support independent artists rather than taking advantage of bootlegging.

Kid Cudi is one artist who revolutionized music from his melancholic raps about depression and isolation. On December 11, 2020, Kid Cudi dropped “Man on the Moon III: Chosen”, which pays homage to his two other “Man on the Moon” albums. Many of his fans have found hope and refuge in his music.

Recently I came across Daniel Johnston, known for his outsider music. “Life in Vain” by Johnston is a good song in relation to the times we are currently living in. The song itself brings a blissful purity. Daniel Johnston was one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite artists, and although Johnston suffered from mental illness, he was still able to share his art with the world.

Music has different meanings for everyone. “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain,” Bob Marley once said. For some people, it eases anxiety, enhances mood, boosts creativity and improves sleep. We can’t forget about all the comfort the music of the past brings us. Music has shaped our society and continues to bring people together. There is a wide spectrum of music, and the best part is discovering which of it calls to you.