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Music and happiness: the science behind it and a list of songs that make you happy

Music has long been known to have a powerful effect on our emotions. From lifting our spirits on a gloomy day to helping us relax after a long day, music can make us happy in ways that few other things can. But what is it about music that profoundly affects our mood and how can we use it to our advantage? Which genre of music holds the most potent emotional impact?

The science behind music and happiness is complex. Still, research has shown that music can activate the brain's reward system, releasing chemicals like dopamine that make us feel happy and relaxed. In addition, music can have various other effects on our bodies and behavior. For instance, it can:

  • Change our brain waves: Different types of music can alter brain wave activity, leading to changes in our hormones and attention levels.

  • Alter our heart rate and blood pressure: A fast-tempo song or a hard-hitting beat can increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to feelings of euphoria.

  • Affect our breathing: Music can influence our breathing patterns and the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream, which can in turn affect our mood and emotions.

  • Modulate our hormone levels: Music has been shown to alter the levels of various hormones in the body, including cortisol (a stress hormone) and oxytocin (a hormone associated with bonding and social connection). 

But if you're wondering which kind of music is best for boosting your mood, EDM is the genre you wanna listen to, mainly because of these two reasons:

  1. EDM helps you vividly remember positive memories: Music has a strong emotional element in addition to its neurological benefits. Certain songs or music genres might revive joyful memories or serve as a reminder of the people and things that make us happy. Researchers from PNAS discovered that uplifting music, such as EDM, can induce vivid memories, especially those associated with euphoric experiences like attending your first music festival with your friends for the first time. EDM has the unparalleled ability to boost listeners' sense of hope and excitement for the future.

  1. EDM is uplifting: Whenever you’re feeling down or gloomy, EDM can help you develop the willpower to keep moving. With its fast tempo and heavy bass, the genre is specifically produced to make people dance, and people would only get up and groovin’ to tracks that make them feel good. One of the key elements that most, if not all EDM tracks contain is a ‘drop’. The buildup and anticipation of the drop increase your brain’s dopamine levels, which is the feel-good chemical that lifts your mood. Generally speaking, listening to EDM can be a type of self-care activity, allowing us to shift our focus from our life's stressors and toward something that feels good to us.

With all of this in mind, here are some EDM songs that are sure to lift up your mood:

  • Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You

  • Daft Punk - One More Time

  • Eric Prydz - Call on Me

  • Modjo - Lady (Hear Me Tonight)

  • LF SYSTEM - Afraid To Feel

  • Noizu - Baby Baby

  • Deepend, YouNotUs, Martin Gallop - Woke up in Bangkok

  • Braaten - Something Just Like This


  • Honey, Shoby - Better Days

  • HELLMATE - Heat

  • Nate VanDeusen, Bayshore Court - Be Our Day

  • Marco Nobel - The Fire

These are just a few examples of music that will make you happy and encourage you to fully appreciate the present moment. So next time you're having a bad day, play some of these tunes and let it lift your spirits.

Now that you’re aware of the mood-boosting effects of EDM, you're probably wondering what the ‘greatest songs to dance to of 2023’ are. To quench your curious mind, we've put together a list of these songs for you to discover by hitting the article title above!

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