Often we do things that make us happy without any thought as to what it is that makes us actually feel better. We don’t analyze it because it seems like a real buzz kill to look too deeply into the specifics of just having fun.  

But, sometimes knowing the science and psychology that induces happiness and reduces stress, anxiety and depression can lend credence to choosing the things that we like that also provide a sense of well-being.  It also leads to better decision-making upon understanding why something we do makes us happy or miserable.

The science behind music

Listening to music can produce positive effects on brain chemicals and neurotransmitters like dopamine and pain fighting endorphins.  It can also stimulate immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that is essential to a healthy immune system.

Listening to music with others provides a greater sense of social identity and acceptance to and for a community.  This can assist in building self-esteem and relationships while coping with issues like social anxiety.

Upbeat music and dancing

The physical activity and exercise from dancing, singing and jumping around while attending a concert contributes to our mental and physical health.  It changes brain chemicals stimulated by music that make us more energetic despite expending extra energy from our wild night out.  Physical activity is a natural stress reducer for both improving circulation and inducing positive changes in our brain.  

According to a study published in Sage Journals in July 2016, by researchers at Deakin University in Australia, those who often attend live music events have higher feelings of well-being than those who don’t.  The study was conducted with 1,000 participants and reviewed the correlation between dancing or attending musical performances and the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy.

Relaxing music and weight loss

If your idea of live music is more along the lines of relaxing solo guitarists or smaller gatherings on the patio of your favorite local bar and grill, you may not have some of the physical benefits of dancing, but you may actually lose weight and reduce stress from lowered cortisol levels.  

Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes increased belly fat, low energy and overall poor health.  Listening to relaxing music has been proven to reduce levels of cortisol in significant amounts.

Concerts and happiness

Another study by O2, “The Massive Music Entertainment Venue”, recognized in a Newsweek article by Zach Schonfeld, “Going To Concerts Can Help You Live Longer”, music fans who attend concerts, once every two weeks or more, rated happiness, contentment, productivity and self-esteem the highest possible, 10/10.

One reason people who attend concerts are happier may be that they keep happy memories top-of-mind through continuous applications of music.  Going to concerts trigger specific connections between present-day and positive memories from the past.

When life’s complicated with problems like divorce, money and stress, it's easy to hyperfocus on present-day problems, which is likely not equal to the sum of your life’s happiness.  Listening to artists and songs that bring back happy memories can put your life in better perspective, which is a great defense to difficult and depressing situations.

Find live music this weekend

So, get out there and enjoy a concert or live music that will  bring back good memories.  The sooner you mix in some happy memories the sooner your current problems will start to diminish. Dance, sing and squash your social fears with a fun, community atmosphere.  Don't wait for an invite.  Do the inviting or go solo, but go soon!  Live music and happy times won't find you, you have to find them.

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