Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones once said, "Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions." Songs give us an emotional language for what we feel. Music is a tool to communicate those feelings. The tones and rhythms impact our mood. When we listen to a slow song our heartbeat changes to sync with the song. Researchers say a song’s pitch, timbre, rhythm, and meter affect different parts of the brain. The effect makes our mind actually feel what’s being communicated to us.
When we listen to joyful or happy music our brains produce chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel happy. When we listen to angry, loud, relaxing, or soft music each song causes different emotions.
When there is a need to express ourselves on a deeper emotional level we choose a song. “...David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan” (2 Sam 1:17). Music helps us express what we are feeling.
We often pick songs based on the mood we are already in. The down side to picking music when you are experiencing negative emotions is it can make your mood worse. Some genre of songs like metal and punk can worsen depression. Positive and happy songs can be helpful for treating feelings of despair, sadness, hopelessness, gloom, and misery. The right song can change our mood.
Colbie Caillat shared, "A great song should lift your heart, warm the soul and make you feel good"
The doctor told Kate the cause of her pain was a large ovarian cyst and she needed surgery. However, what Kate feared more than the episodes of pain she was experiencing was the fear of the surgery itself. Her phobia about surgery came when she saw the terrible agony her mother had suffered when she had surgery. Kate feared the idea.
"To the choir director: A song of the descendant of Korah, to be sung by soprano voices. God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear..." Ps 46:1-2a (NLT)
So, Kate turned to music. With headphones on and her favorite music playing, they rolled her into surgery. When she awoke in recovery she saw and heard a guitarist playing her favorite lullabies. “The women in the bed next to me was smiling,” Kate recalls. “I felt as if my nerves were being massaged.” Music had changed Kate’s emotions and ultimately her experience.
In one of my spiritual warfare messages which I spoke recently, I mentioned that we should be thermostats not thermometers. When you are in a bad mood or experiencing negative emotions you have the power to change the atmosphere of your heart. Like a thermostat you can make adjustments to change your experience. Rather than being a thermometer and simply taking a reading of the situation, you can put this principle into affect and change your mind and your mood. I encourage you to use the right song for the right situation and watch your mood improve. Worshipers like you are good at this.