Music is an integral part of our lives. So much so that hundreds of books and even movies such as 2016’s Mixtape have been made about humanity’s love affair with music. And to call it a love affair isn’t an exaggeration, as it’s had such a profound effect on people’s lives — even influencing how people feel on a daily basis.
Everyone has their favorites. Songs that remind them of fond memories, make them feel like singing or dancing, and even songs that bring them back to a certain period in their lives.
Indeed, listening to your favorite song can change how your day is going. And this holds true no matter where you are in the world, with a survey conducted in the UK by Gala Bingo proving that listening to your favorite music is one of the top 10 things that make people happy. Music is truly a universal language. Although your musical preferences are subjective, listening to our favorite songs ties us to the common experience of having our moods altered for the better. But what if there’s more to it than that? What if your favorite songs determine things about you and your personality? If we’ve piqued your interest, read on to learn more about what your favorite song says about you.
Music is one of the oldest traditions on the planet. Music journalist Colin Barras details that the earliest known musical instruments are estimated to be around 40,000 years old. And while this would already make it older than most art forms, research suggests that music may even predate language itself and may have been one of the ways our ancestors communicated. This is interesting as it says a lot about the way we appreciate music, and why it becomes so easily ingrained into our brains.
So what is it about music that we find so appealing? Well, experts have observed that listening to music triggers activity in our nucleus accumbens, which is the section of our brain responsible for releasing the pleasure chemical dopamine. Music also stimulates activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates and processes emotions. What’s more interesting is that music also activates areas of the prefrontal cortex, which deals with decision-making. Now, what this shows is how music heavily involves intricate functions of the brain. So, what do your musical preferences say about you?
What Does the Music You Like Say About You?
We all have our musical preferences. Some like jazz, while others are into heavy metal. Musical taste is subjective, meaning there are no wrong answers. However, due to music’s effect on the brain, the music that you like could indicate some key things about how you think and your personality.
Psychologists from the University of Cambridge highlights how the music preference of someone who is more empathic may differ wildly from a person who is more systemic and logical. People who can empathize better tend to gravitate towards more mellow music, such as R&B and smooth jazz. Meanwhile, more logical and systemic people are more likely to like intense and complex music such as math rock and genres that lean towards the avant-garde side of music. However, it’s important to note that humans are complex beings that can’t be boxed in purely based on the music they listen to. While there is some truth to this, the kind of music one listens to doesn’t define them.