Music can greatly impact mood


photo illustration: Music can often have an impact on a person’s mood.

Story by Sydney Schoen, Staff writer

Music seems to be every teenager’s fuel for getting by. With anthems of love woes, partying, backstabbing, and people that just don’t understand, music was practically created for the crazy hormonal beings that are teenagers. However, not all music was, and is, created to benefit the youth of today, or anyone for that matter.

It has been common knowledge amongst the general population for quite some time, as well as the scientific community, that music has a big impact on your mood. To get technical, it all has a lot to do with your level of Serotonin. By increasing your level of Serotonin (a chemical in your brain), you decrease your feeling of depression, thus you get a sense of happiness with spiked Serotonin levels. Some types of music are shown to have increased this euphoria, while some have caused it to dwindle.

Country music. A staple of the South for, literally, decades. Those who like it, flaunt it, dedicating Facebook statuses and playlists to the lyrics of their music icons. You would assume that such a popular genre would definitely increase your Serotonin level, but you’d be wrong. According to psychologists, Steven Stack and Jim Grundlach’s studies, country music is connected to depression, and has even led some to suicide.

However, most country music fans are quick to defend this claim.

“I don’t think country music can lead to suicide,” junior Brittany Shipp said. “Not all of the songs are sad. A lot are really happy.”

Others can see both sides of the study.

“I like country music, but I can definitely see where it could be depressing,” sophomore Nick Dusek said. “I mean, like, 85 percent of country music is about heartbreak.”

Since the formation of heavy metal in the late ‘60s, mothers everywhere have been quick to criticize its harsh tone and aggressive lyrics, but if the University of Warwick has anything to say about it, the common assumption about heavy metal may be no more. Their experiments have come up with a startling conclusion– those who have low self-esteem actually get an “esteem boost” from heavy metal.

“I can definitely see how [heavy metal] could make you feel better,” sophomore Brad Baird said. “I mean, I listen to it all of the time, and it really gets your energy going.”

Although all of these experiments have been fairly conclusive, others debate that it may just be the person actually listening. A person’s family, environment, and who he hangs out with all seem to be factors. Maybe it’s like what they say about beauty; it’s all in the eye of the beholder.