Why Does Music Help Boost our Mood?



Why is music so meaningful to us? Developing our own taste in music is a healthy part of growing up, it’s something that helps shape our identity.
Your taste in music might make you feel more separate from your parents- they probably like different music to you – and that’s not a bad thing. Listening to a certain kind of music may give you a sense of belonging to a particular group. Maybe some of your friends listen to the same kind of music as you whereas others prefer a different genre.

In the Youth Trust’s 2019 and 2021 Island Youth Mental Health Census, music was identified as the top coping mechanism for children and young people.
We know that music is really important to most young Islanders, but why is music so great for your mental health?
According to the mental health charity, Mind, researchers found that music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in your brain. This is boosted by a further 9% when you listen to music that you love. It isn’t surprising then, that most young people that have spoken to us at Youth Trust have told us they use music to lift their mood and help alleviate stress and anxiety.


Music can hold so many different emotions. Often, we can find a song or rap that seems to express exactly how we are feeling about something or someone. When we are unable to discuss these feelings with family or friends, music can make us feel less alone. It’s also something we can easily share – you can send a piece of music (or a whole playlist!) to a friend or listen to music with someone else by simply sharing your headphones.


Music is also known to promote healthy sleep, which in turn helps to improve mood and even boost concentration. So around bedtime it might be helpful to replace screen time with audio time and listen to some relaxing music that can help you drift off to sleep peacefully. There is some evidence to suggest that we should resist listening to sad music when we are feeling depressed, as it can leave us feeling worse than before. Instead, we should aim to create an upbeat and uplifting playlist full of happy music with positive lyrical messages. Maybe you have found the breathing exercises help you feel less stressed – why not combine this with a calming playlist.
Check out this CALM Blog called 10 Ways to feel better with music – which includes links to lots of tracks to listen to.

The best thing about music is that, not only can you listen to it, ANYONE can make it! Playing an instrument can be rewarding in so many ways. Want to take up an instrument but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’d like to learn to sing, beatbox, rap or even become a DJ. You can ask your music teacher at school or there are lots of brilliant online resources to get you started with taster sessions or beginners’ courses to see what inspires you. Taking up a musical instrument builds confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Making music with others allows you to meet different kinds of people and make new friends. Learning any new life skill helps you face the world and take control of your own life. These online resources are a great place to start:

Learn how to DJ -Free DJ Lessons

Free online drum lessons

Fancy taking up guitar?

Want to practice your rapping?

Why not check out some of these great groups right here on our doorstep:
• Join a music group like a brass or wind band or a ukulele orchestra.
• Are you a budding Songwriter head along to this monthly workshop (cost £8)
• Check out Platform One Saturday Rock school for 12-16 year olds.


According to research carried out by Sing-Up Foundation, when you sing, endorphins and oxytocin are released by the brain. This relieves stress and anxiety, boosts energy levels and enhances feelings of trust and bonding, which in turn can help improve symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness.

So much is going on with your mind and body when you are singing, that you are fully focused on it and become completely in the moment. This is good because it can ‘turn off’ any negative or distracting thoughts. This, combined with concentrating on your breathing, makes singing the ultimate mindfulness exercise! Learning to sing can help you believe in yourself and your power to succeed. Simply singing along to your favourite tunes at home (even in the shower!) is really good for you but, maybe you’d like to take it a step further and consider joining a choir? Perhaps your school has one, or you could join a community choir.
You could check out:
• Singing, Drama and Dance schools like Curtain Call Isle of Wight, The Starlight Boutique, Fusion Arts Academy or Theatre Train.


For many of us, hearing a particular rhythm will make us want to DANCE (or at the very least tap our foot!) Movement and dance is another channel for dealing with and expressing a wide range of emotions……. but that’s a whole other blog!

Images: Copyright Lucy Boynton Photography


Disclaimer: Links contained in this post are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Isle of Wight Youth Trust of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organisation or individual. The Isle of Wight Youth Trust bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.



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