The Power of the Playlist: Embrace the Benefits of Listening to Music

The Power of the Playlist: Embrace the Benefits of Listening to Music

Picture this: it’s two minutes until lunch and you just completely bombed your math test. All you want to do is scamper outside and feel a load of stress come off your back (possibly after screaming into your hands in the privacy of the bathroom — no shame, I’ve definitely been there). But as soon as you step out of the classroom, your senses are flooded with the booming bass of Dua Lipa’s “Houdini” or sugary swing of “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Of course, you groan; you were looking forward to some peace and quiet after the exam, not an ear assault. But as you grab your food, find your friends at the picnic table and allow the music to turn ambient, you actually begin to feel… a lot better? Huh, that’s nice. But what caused your mood change? The music did; it’s scientifically proven.

Research from Pfizer shows that listening to music amplifies blood flow to your limbic system, the part of your brain in charge of generating and controlling emotions. So, when the music turns on, the chaotic flurry of feelings in your mind begins to subside. What’s more: as your brain becomes familiar with a specific song, your body releases dopamine and endorphins — the happy chemicals — upon hearing the first few notes. That’s what makes music such an incredible mood booster. 

This is just one example of the countless benefits of listening to music that many people fail to acknowledge. Music acts as so much more than a source of entertainment and enjoyment. So this is why you should appreciate music’s many advantages, including stress relief and improved concentration. 

Our lives are extremely busy and fast-paced, especially in the pressure cooker that is Silicon Valley. It seems like everyone is competing to get the farthest, run the fastest or do the best in the game of life. I often find myself completely wrapped up in the ubiquitous sense of competition, and it can be hard to calm down while my mind races with worries. This is where music plays a tremendous role in helping reduce stress: it helps us take a moment to slow down. 

According to the University of Nevada, songs with a tempo of at least 60 beats per minute allow the brain to synchronize with the pulse of the music. This synchronization causes alpha brainwaves, which indicate that one is in a state of wakeful rest and relaxation. Enjoying the lulling melody of an emotional ballad or dancing it out to your favorite EDM track can take your mind off of exhausting situations, and when you return, you will feel refreshed with a new burst of mental clarity. Music can help you ground yourself and reset your energy so that you can put your best foot forward, all day, every day.

What about focus? Music activates both your left and right brains simultaneously, and this activation maximizes your learning and enhances your memory, according to Dr. Masha Goldkin of National University. Faster music genres can pull your attention into a groove, making you feel more concentrated and alert while you complete work. Also, it’s just more fun to have a familiar, encouraging tune in the background while you check off boxes from to-do lists. 

To wrap up, it’s clear that music can be your best friend when it comes to getting through any situation. I encourage all readers to pop in their headphones and savor a soundtrack that can bring them peace and relaxation. The benefits are right there in front of you.

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About the Contributor
Sienna Lew
Sienna Lew, Opinions Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: discovering new things about our diverse community through the stories I pursue

Interests outside of school: poetry and creative writing, running, listening to music, hanging out with friends and family, mock trial

Class of 2026


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