Even many centuries ago, during the Middle Age, music and humor have always shared the stage to some degree. Take jesters or minstrels for example - their job was to entertain courts with songs, playful music, jokes, tricks and dances. Still nowadays, some music genres aim to make people feel lighter and happier.
So, what is it exactly that makes a music playful? And can playful music really make us feel happier?
A group of researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute thinks it definitely can. The team carried out a study about the effects of playful music on happiness and they even created a list of songs proven to help you boost your mood and lift your spirits. Scientists call them "chills" songs and they cause your brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers.
According to Dr. Adrian North, an Australian music psychologist, the underlying characteristics of happy, playful music are drive by two factors: personal taste and up-tempo music. So, you can gauge a listener’s emotional response to a track by knowing if he or she likes or dislikes it, and if it’s an arousing piece.
You can like relaxing tunes, but usually it’s not arousing. Vice versa, unsettling or scary music could not be your cup of tea, but it’s highly arousing. Playful music satisfies both criteria, being enjoyable and usually very appreciated and arousing.
Moreover, the music psychologist adds that the more up-tempo music, the happier it will be. Generally, as music becomes faster it becomes happier.
So, if you need to boost yourself up after a long day of work, or just want to feel instantly better look for arousing tracks that have catchy beats, uplifting lyrics and up-tempo songs that are easy to sing along to and make you want to get up and dance.