Music has always played an important part in our lives, as it can shift our state of mind and make us feel either more uplifted and happy or sometimes even sad depending on the tune we choose.
Research showed that the human brain responds differently, compared to any other animal, when it hears the music. When we listen to it, a part of our brain called the nucleus accumbens activates and triggers the release of the “pleasure chemical” dopamine.
The amount of dopamine that gets released, and therefore the level of the pleasure we get from it, depends on other things such as the element of surprise.
So the next time you find yourself browsing through new music, remember that if you stumble across a new song you really like, you’ll probably be happier than listening to the one you already know and like.
Studies have shown that music can actually help us perform tasks better and faster, while also creating a specific environment in which we can let our creativity go wild. According to the studies, listening to happy music is associated with an increase in divergent thinking, but not convergent thinking.
However, music does have some limitations when it comes to the tasks you can perform while listening to cool rhythms.
If you’re learning
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to learn something new at your job, then listening to music is not such a good idea. Learning requires our brains to analyze and remember instructions and facts.
When you have your music on, this multitasking for your brain can cause it to interpret instructions and facts improperly, either associating them in odd ways or making mistakes about what’s important enough to store.
If you’re avoiding noise
We all know that sometimes the workspace can get a little loud, especially when colleagues are on the phone or when they work on a project together. This noise can cause an added stress for our brains which are doing their best to process all the information around.
Productivity can, therefore, go down, even if your task doesn’t require you to learn something. If you feel like you need to work effectively and cancel disturbing noises, listening to music can actually help, as it blocks out the excessive input keeps you calm.
If your task is repetitive
As it was shown by various studies, when doing repetitive work is actually a good idea to listen to music. According to the research, this practice helps you make fewer mistakes and finish your tasks faster.
These results occur because the music you like triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which help you feel relaxed and happy and therefore focus better.