Does Music Sway your Mood?


Ava Velasco, Journalist

You may very well be thinking, “Why would I click on this article? Music is stupid,” or you may even be thinking, “Finally! Another music article! Music is totally not stupid.”

Whichever outlook you may have, chances are, you are right. You have your own points and your very own reasons for your opinions and I, as should all, respect that.

Good for you. Both sides are valid because both sides are right. Music can be both stupid and totally not stupid at the same time. It all depends on your opinion, taste in music, or how the song makes you feel.

Music has been scientifically proven to sway your mood; even to improve your perspective and outlook on life. However, not every genre of music can make you happy.

Listening to enough depressing songs when you already feel sad is an absolute recipe for disaster. The next time you feel sad, try listening to upbeat, happy music. A great way to dig yourself out of an emotional divet is to surround yourself with good things.

However, do not automatically think that listening to three happy songs will make you any less depressed. It takes time…usually around two weeks of consecutive upbeat listening. Good things take time.

This can be a tricky thing because happy music consists of the music that you like. I could tell you to listen to pop or cute songs, but it is not going to help you if you like fast-paced rap or alternative rock music.

Disclaimer: Play the songs that you like, but do not listen to too many depressing rap or alternative rock songs. If they make you sad, again, they are probably not the best choice for your mental health.

I was prompted by this article to run a small study on how music affects the average high school students’ mood. I had several anonymous Ripon High students, ranging from all grades, listen to three songs from different genres. The order I had them listen to said songs was Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper for the 80’s genre, Intro III by NF for the Rap/Hip-Hop genre, and Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky for the classical genre.

I specifically chose these three songs because 80’s music is what comes to mind when I think about being energetic and carefree, and Intro III is not the most extreme rap song out there, but the words tell a heavier story that I felt could convey emotion. Finally, I chose Waltz of the Flowers because classical music has been scientifically proven to relax and calm the nerves.

According to, “…listening to music can raise dopamine levels, and multiple studies have found that listening to classical music can be a valuable tool in treating depression.”

Listening to classical music, contrary to popular belief, will not make you smarter but will make you feel better about having to study.

The study proved exactly as I thought; 71.4 percent of voters labeled Girls Just Want to Have Fun as energetic. This is a great hype up song, while it may not instantly change your mood, listening enough to this song and 80’s songs like it, will improve your outlook and maybe brighten up your life, one day at a time.

Intro III had 57.1 percent of voters at pumped up, even though the song’s lyrics are quite dark. I was surprised that not many chose scary. 57.1 percent of voters also said that Waltz of the Flowers was relaxing, with happy and bored being tied for second place.

To recap: listen to happy music, defined as: music that makes you happy.

“Music is not only able to affect your mood — listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world.”

“Music is not only able to affect your mood — listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world.””