Have you ever listened to a song that shifted your mood? Music creates emotions. We can feel happy or sad just by listening to the beat and tempo. This interpretive process is similar to how we can recognize other people’s feelings by their facial expressions, body language, and tone.
There are two types of emotions we can experience when we listen to music: perceived and felt. Perceived is the emotion we recognize from our surroundings. Felt is the emotion an individual experiences. A psychology study found that listening to sad music can be a pleasant experience. The researchers believe music is a safe stimulant that has no direct relationship to an actual threat regardless of the sadness intensity. This study also found that sad music is multi-faceted when it was previously believed to contain only unpleasant emotions.
Current studies are looking into music therapy to alleviate symptoms of depression and for people who live with dementia. To date, studies suggest music may alleviate symptoms of depression in the short-term.