Have you ever been completely swept off of your feet by a set of notes, a particularly gorgeous melody, that took you completely off guard, leaving you wondering when the next time you'll fall in love is? Us too. Let's explore the phenomenon that is the vague yet all encompassing love song.
Did you know that similar to how you feel close and comfortable with friends and family that you’ve had for years, a familiar song can muster up the same type of feelings in you? A study titled “Music and Emotions in the Brain: Familiarity Matters,” details the emotional effect caused by music. The researchers claim, “Our results not only strengthen the body of evidence showing that music is very efficient in recruiting emotional centres of the brain, but also clearly provide evidence that familiarity with a particular piece of music is an extremely important factor for emotional engagement, and thus furnishes 'direct access' to these emotional centres of the brain.”
Say that you’re looking to do a little bit of bio-hacking on a particularly tough and troublesome day. If you find yourself stressed and impossible to settle-down, consider employing that of sound. Surely you’ll need to fit a shower into your busy schedule, so this is where you can shine your brightest while multitasking. It turns out that singing can actually cause the release of oxytocin, otherwise known as the cuddle hormone, so you can actually boost your comfort and mood while soaking up the soapsuds!
Similar to when you’re flipping through your options on your favorite streaming service, often times audience members will choose a film that mimics their currently feelings. If your relationship is blossoming, nobody wants to watch a downer film with a whole lot of relationship drama. The flipside is true as well, with those in love wanting to lounge in all things love by watching a love story full of romance and a happy ending. Our interaction with music is incredibly akin to that of other art forms. Have you noticed that when you’re feeling down and out when it comes to all things love, you just want to sulk in a achey love song that seems to understand your pain and give a name to it? This provides us a sense of comfort and understanding, making us feel like we aren’t alone in a time where we are feeling particularly vulnerable.
In terms of actual chemicals, a study was done by McGill University where it was discovered that music does indeed have a physical response on our bodies, releasing dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is “usually released upon sleep or food consumption and operates as a means of reward in the body” says Psychology Today. This explains how and why we can get so amped up on music and how its accompaniment as the soundtracks of our lives can feel like an incredible rush that isn’t able to be competed with.
Now, here’s your mission. Whatever it is in your life that inspires love to bubble up within you, soak it up! Is it a day at the beach catching some waves? Perhaps a deep conversation on a walk through a flower-filled garden with a close friend? No matter what it is - try to fully embrace and embody the joy that it sparks. Next, when you’re home, take out your instrument of choice and recall those feelings that were drummed up in you and alchemize them. Many of us think that love songs are always a little sad, speaking of heartbreak, endless pining and unrequited love. Well, just like how you can take those tough times and turn them into something positive- we can do the same with good feelings too! You may be pleasantly surprised with yourself that you can write a beautiful love song that tells a tale of happiness, success and a solid connection. Bask in this feeling but don’t forget to try to squeeze a little bit of artistic expression out of it! Why not?