Music makes me feel less lonely (Link between music & loneliness)

In the blog post, we will try to answer the question  ‘can music make me feel less lonely?’. We will also try to understand how music makes a person feel less lonely, following with a list of songs to turn to.  

Can music make me feel less lonely? 

Yes, music can make you feel less lonely. 

Have you ever felt sad, depressed, or isolated? I am sure you have because it is human nature to have low days every now and then. Have you ever listened to music at such times? If yes, you would know that music can help you lift up your mood. 

Why does music make me feel less lonely? 

Loneliness is defined as a feeling of absence and a lack of meaningful human relationships. This negative feeling is correlated with depression anxiety power quality of lies and cognitive decline. Such a state of mind can impact a person’s physical and mental health.

Research has found that listening to music is seen to be effective not only to improve your mood but also to reduce stress. 

It is seen that humans usually confide in music after losing someone close to them. Mood congruent music is seen to be acting as a social surrogate for an empathetic friend. 

We often turn to music when destressed. because it makes us feel less lonely. some listeners say that listening to music makes them feel understood and emotionally supported. Some describe sad sounded music to help them link the sadness to something positive which makes them feel less lonely. To others, music acts as a virtual friend offering comfort and understanding.

Various theories have been proposed to understand why music makes us feel less lonely.

Persona theory posits that listeners automatically and unconsciously conceive music as an expression of a state of mind of an imagined person. 

Shared affective motion experience theory claims that music provides the company by conveying a sense of the presence, actions, and emotional states of another person

Moreover, research on social music cognition reveals that listening to music alone can function as a form of social encounter and that listeners conceive a virtual social agent while engaging with well-known musical pieces by themselves. 

Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that listeners can successfully decode relational intentions from musical interactions and that music can be perceived as having similar qualities to a real person such as age, gender, or emotions. Hence, empirical work supports the theory that both music production and perception include social cognition and empathic processes.

In sum, when we lose a close friend, we look for another close friend to confide in. given the theories, mood-congruent music becomes that close friend, therefore making us feel less lonely. 

What happens in the brain when you listen to music? 

Music acts as a specific mood stimulator or reinforcer. It is being used by all humans, regardless of age, for emotional self-regulation. 

Hargreaves and North (1999) have noticed that ‘‘music has the power  to act as a vehicle for feelings which may not be possible to be expressed otherwise. ’’ 

It is said that people listen to music ‘‘because of the valued emotional experiences it offersMeanwhile, music is used to enhance or alter emotions (to relax or to comfort) or to evoke emotional memories.’’

With the outbreak of coronavirus and the imposition of lockdown, we saw that various professionals and non-professionals started to incline towards music to pass their alone time. Psychologists believe that sharing music on social media was used to connect with the world outside. 

It is seen by various therapists that listening to music releases that feel-good hormones such as endorphins in our body. With this, it also releases that happy chemical serotonin, that uplifts the mood of an individual. In addition, music is used to reduce stress as it releases oxytocin in the body, 

Studies have found that singing and listening to music reduces feelings of depression. Music is also seen to aid in neurogenesis.

Benefits of Listening to Music. 

In addition to this, music has other benefits on a person’s mental and physical health 

  • Music can improve your memory: We often associate a song with a particular memory. This is because music has the unique ability to bring back memories and improve memory mechanisms. When you associate a memory to a particular song, listening to the song brings back incredible details of that memory. This effect creates the potentialities to treat individuals suffering from memory-related issues such as amnesia Alzihmers dementia, etc. 
  • Memory improves your focus: Have you ever noticed how you pay attention when your favorite song plays. you focus your entire attention on the song and how that makes you feel. This is because music has the ability to stimulate the entire brain advancement of just a portion of it. Therefore people use music while meditation. Music can also help you take your mind focus effective value are exercising on a treadmill therefore leading towards your goal. 
  • Music can increase creativity: Music and creativity go hand in hand. It is noted that ambient noise at 70 decibels will enhance an individual’s performance on specific creative tasks. increasing the volume of the music would also increase personal distraction levels. Therefore, turn on slow melodious music while working to stimulate the creative parts of your brain. 
  • Music can increase your IQ scores: Studies have shown that children who regularly listened to music, or played musical instruments, we’re able to develop a much higher verbal IQ than other children of the same age who did not have exposure to music. Experimental research conducted by York University showed that the group of children exposed to music tested higher on verbal IQ compared to those who were not. 
  • Music provides you with coping mechanisms: Music helps us perceive the world around us. It shifts out the taste of consciousness in numerous ways. Grocery store checkout lines and waiting rooms both employ music because it changes a person’s judgment of time. Fast melodies make time seem to speed up. Slow songs make time seem to slow down.
  • Music can help you control pain: Music is considered to be healing. It helps in the release of endorphins that help the body cope with pain. It is also the best distractor. If you want to avoid feeling pain at the moment, you usually turn to music. 
  • Music helps you restore your hormonal balance: In unpleasant moments, our body releases cortisol, which increases the level of stress and anxiety. In such situations, listening to music helps you calm down. Music is known to release happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. This combination makes us feel happy, confident, and relaxed.
  • Music can improve your reasoning and motor skill: When motions are paired with music it allows the child to improve coordination. The rhythms of the song, combined with your physical actions that correspond to the music, help the brain to transfer memories of that moment to your long-term storage centers.
  • Music helps in the treatment of heart disease: Common side effects associated with heart disease include stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that listening to various forms of music, anxiety, stress, and tension levels in patients being treated for coronary heart disease dropped quite dramatically. Blood pressure levels, which also play a key role in coronary health, were also significantly reduced.
  • Music boosts your immune system: The immune system of the body is the natural defense against the world of diseases. The research discovered simultaneously that listening to uplifting music improves antibody levels within the body. A study saw that after listening to music for 50 minutes, participants had higher levels of Immunoglobin A compared to the other group. 

Music therapy

 Seeing at the above-mentioned benefits, therapists introduced what is called music therapy. 

Music therapy is a therapeutic approach that utilizes music as a medium in order to achieve a meaningful change in both the psychosocial and physical state of an individual. Empirical research found that music therapy contributes to psychosomatic status improvement, irrespective of pathology or patient’s age or gender. 

Music therapy can be conducted individually or in a group. There are two ways of conducting music therapy. 

  • Active music therapy 
  • Receptive music therapy

Active music therapy techniques involve several forms of music interactions. Such as: 

  • Singing (decrease hormone levels associated with stress and depression, development of sociability and social skills). 
  •  Improvisation – playing musical instruments, exercises with rhythm (expression of feelings) 
  •  Music composition or lyric writing 

Receptive music therapy requires the patient to listen to the prerecorded music played by the therapist. 

  •  Progressive muscle relaxation.
  •  Guided imagery where the patient expresses and recalls thoughts, memories, evoked by music that he is listening to. 

Listening to music is seen to correlate to relaxation and reduction of stress and depressive symptoms. When it comes to mental health care, Music Therapy is a complementary therapy and it is defined by the American Music Therapy Association as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. The main aim of music therapy is to restore, promote, and maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. 

15 songs to listen to when lonely. 

Here is a list of songs suggested by a mental health community to listen to when one feels lonely. 

  • “Heavy” by Linkin Park
  • “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
  • “Friend, Please” by Twenty One Pilots
  • “Rise Up” by Andra Day
  •  “Isolation” by Alter Bridge
  • “Still Breathing” by Green Day
  • “If Today Was Your Last Day” by Nickelback
  • “Battle Scars” by Paradise Fears
  • “Soldier” by Gavin DeGraw
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
  • “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles
  • “Last Hope” by Paramore
  • “Saviour” by Black Veil Brides
  • “Hold On” by Good Charlotte
  • “Bishop’s Knife Trick” by Fall Out Boy 

Conclusion 

In the blog post, we have tried to answer the question  ‘can music make me feel less lonely?’. We have also tried to understand how music makes a person feel less lonely, following with a list of songs to turn to. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs: Music makes me feel less lonely

How does loneliness affect your personality? 

Loneliness increases the risk of depression, heart disease, lower life expectancy. It can change you from a happy go lucky person to an aways sad and stressful person. 

What is the loneliest creature on earth?

The whale is considered to be the loneliest creature on earth. A mysterious whale was with a  unique song that was tracked in the pacific ocean for years. 

How does loneliness affect your brain? 

It is understood that loneliness can lead to cognitive decline due to physical inactivity, symptoms of depression, poor sleep, and increased blood pressure and inflammation. It also is seen that loneliness can increase the development of dementia by 20%. 

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/music-and-brain/

http://www.encephalos.gr/pdf/52-1-03e.pdf

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2059204320935709#:~:text=cognition%2C%20social%20surrogacy-,Background,Lippman%20%26%20Greenwood%2C%202012).

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