It is believed that music was first introduced during the prehistoric time. Although the timeline is a little blurry, we all can agree that it is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. Wait! Music is not just limited to the human species. Credits are due towards the animal kingdom too—from the chirping of the songbirds to elephants’ raucous trumpeting.
Every music lover instinctively knows that a song sounds different the 11th time you hear it from the first. Repetition is one of the most powerful yet overlooked factors when it comes to understanding how we perceive music. Whether it is Fur Elise by Beethoven or Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, sometimes, there are songs that you can’t stop listening to. Remember that song? The song that always takes you back to your childhood? The song that reminds you of that first break up? For reasons unfathomable, certain songs always tug the right strings of your heart, and you can’t get enough. Over the years, several kinds of research have been conducted to understand this human tendency—from college-wide surveys to neurological stimulations. In this blog, we will discuss a few scientific findings to ascertain why listening music/ songs on repeat equals happiness.
What does the research from the University of Michigan say?
A 2017 study from the University of Michigan, “Extreme re-listening: Songs people love… and continue to love”, surveyed 2014 participants via an online questionnaire. Around 86% of the study subjects reported that they listen to their favorite song every single day or at least a few times a week. 43% of those who listened to the song every day reported playing it multiple times throughout the day. 60% listened to the song several times in a row, and about 6% reported they had a serious urge to listen to the song before playing it. So, what did they deduce from these data? Well, what they found was rather interesting and reflective.
Repeating Music Leads to Comfort
The team of researchers concluded that listening repeatedly to a favorite song offers a serious sense of comfort. This inclination, known as ‘niche listening’, helps to create a meaningful relationship with that specific song, which lets your love of the tune to reach great measures and persevere even after you have listened to it for over a hundred times. One would think listening to the same song so many times would be an overkill, but the study’s main author, Frederick Conrad, explains that ‘niche listening’ allows the affection to persist across significant amounts of exposure.
Repeating Music Helps to Reflect Emotions
The same Michigan study also reported that people listen to songs on repeat because of the way that song makes them feel, with the majority of the study’s subjects opting to listen to bittersweet songs were most likely to evoke emotions. I guess, it satiates our curiosity about why we keep coming back to that one song all the time. The study says that these songs help to reflect our emotions and channel them in a healthy, meaningful way.
A Musical Habit WordPress Developer Swears By
We all have unique idiosyncrasies and own ways of doing things. But it doesn’t hurt to get some inspirations from highly successful people once in a while. WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, has a habit of listening to one single song on repeat to get into the zone whenever he needs to concentrate on some task. Famous authors Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss also vouch for this technique. So, if you love listening to music while working, consider shortening the playlist or listen to just a few songs. It will significantly boost your focus and concentration.
The Science Behind It
Arkansas-based psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis obliquely delves into this question Margulis says that musical repetition gets us mentally singing and imagining through the bits we expect to come next. She adds that it gives rise to the sense of shared subjectivity with music. After all, during intense musical experiences, people often share that they became one with music—with boundaries dissolved. Haven’t we all been there?
Repeating Music= Multiplying Happiness
Science says that music releases dopamine—the brain’s “feel-good” chemical. Numerous studies have suggested that when you listen to music you like; it can have positive effects on your mood. While fast-paced music can increase your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, slower music will have the opposite effect. As we have already deciphered above why we listen to certain songs on repeat and the effects it has on ourselves, it now is a no-brainer that repeating songs is an unlikely, effective way towards happiness. Listening to favorite songs on repeat also releases happy hormones like cortisol, oxytocin, and serotonin. These chemicals have a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system and help the body and mind to relax.
So, in these many ways, listening to songs on repeat contribute to our happiness in so many direct and indirect ways. Who knew this seemingly weird habit of ours is endorsed by so many studies and reports!
How to loop songs and videos effortlessly?
On the world wide web, listening to a song on repeat or watching a video on the loop isn’t as easy as it should have been. If you google it, you’ll be blasted with a number of videos and ‘tutorials’ that aren’t slightest bit useful. From entering fishy websites to changing the setting of your browser, the processes are painstakingly complicated and aren’t half as good. Enter: ListenOnRepeat, known as LOR. The website doesn’t only help you do the aforementioned activities effortlessly but also boasts of a wide number of special features like repeating only certain sections of the song/video, creating curated playlists, and reading editorials and reviews my seasoned music critics.
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to LOR and play your favourite song on loop. If you’re not sure about it, take a look at our list of most repeated songs of the decade on LOR. Dance away the night with Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off or revisit Happy by Pharrel William, the choices are endless!