The Bright Side: Music Can Make You Happy in 9 Minutes

Now, more than ever, we’re craving some good news, a quick cheer up, or just a little brightness in our cloudy days. In a recent article on the Good News Network, the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) has concluded that music takes 13 minutes to ‘release sadness’ and 9 minutes to make you happy. Time to turn up the tunes! The new research by BAST, the Music as Medicine project, is trying to identify what type of music stimulates positive responses. “Most people hear or actively listen to music every day and as humans we tend to change our playlists based on our mood,” explained the neuroscientists at BAST.

Music for Relaxation

13 minutes was found to be the optimum listening time in the case of music to relax. This kind of music was characterized with a slow tempo, simple melodies and no lyrics.

“Our test subjects reported positive benefits including decreased muscle tension, negative thoughts disappearing, feeling peaceful and contented and being able to sleep better,” exclaimed the study. 79% had reduced muscle tension, 84% had less negative thoughts, and 82% had a better nights sleep or felt restful & contented.

Music for Happiness

After listening to driving rhythm and fast tempo music with happy lyrical content for just 9 minutes, 89% of participants had improved energy levels, 65% laughed more and/or felt happier, 82% felt able to take on anything or felt more in control of their lives. 

“Listening to music for sadness caused our listeners to feel a sense of relief, be less overwhelmed, feel more stable and less likely to be triggered by things that reminded them of the issue,” they said. 87% felt more emotionally stable, 84% felt less overwhelmed, a record 91% felt relief & release, while 84% said they came out the other side of their sadness.

While this research may seem like a bonus to doing what most of us love to do—listen to music—it’s actually leading to potential therapeutic interventions to calm pre-operational anxiety attacks, and other mental therapies. So to start the day off on the right note, just find your favorite funky fast song and play it loud! J