Music Chemical Effects on the Brain

By: Dr Carla Kesrouani March 9, 2023 no comments

Music Chemical Effects on the Brain

Music has a powerful impact on mental health and the brain. As research has shown, listening to it can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve mood, cognitive function, and quality of life. One other reason why music can be so beneficial is by helping to regulate emotions.

What music does it do?

The rhythms have the ability to evoke strong emotional responses, and listening to what matches or supports a particular emotional state can help individuals process and regulate emotions more effectively in several ways such:

  • including improving cognitive performance,
  • reducing stress,
  • helping to control appetite,
  • improving memory,
  • managing pain,
  • promoting better sleep,
  • improving mood and motivation,
  • reducing symptoms of depression,
  • enhancing endurance and performance.

Additionally, music therapy has been recognized as an effective form of treatment for mental health issues. In this form of therapy, a trained therapist helps individuals with:

  • Improving communication and social skills
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Promoting emotional expression and regulation.

Chemical effects on the brain

Many studies have shown different types of positive effects on the brain. But chemically, music rhythms affect the brain chemically in several ways. This happens because the brain is activated to release certain hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin and limit the release of other hormones such as cortisol, as research has shown.


First, dopamine is a chemical that’s associated with pleasure and reward. Thereby, listening to upbeat or dance songs have a powerful impact on the release of dopamine and feeling a great amount of pleasure.

Oxytocin, then, is a hormone associated with social bonding and attachment. Some research has suggested that music with a strong and regular rhythm can increase oxytocin levels and promote feelings of social connectedness.

Cortisol, on the other hand, is a hormone released in response to stress, and studies have shown that listening to relaxing music with a slow and steady rhythm can lower cortisol levels and promote relaxation.


Overall, music is a valuable tool that may have a profound effect on our emotions, mood, and overall well-being and health. Hence, incorporating it into daily life can be a healthy coping mechanism and a form of a self-care.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is a substitute for professional therapy. Don’t forget to keep your mental health in check. Contact Dr. Carla today.



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