By Rachel Schwarz

On my drive home, I was listening to the radio and realized that I was smiling to myself while I was singing along. I wondered why music affects us so profoundly.

People listen to music for many different reasons: when they’re sad, when they’re bored, just to have something in the background, or at a social event. Music has the power to change a person’s day, even if the words don’t directly speak to a relatable situation.

For example, I have a friend who listens only to rap music. (It drives me crazy!) While he can’t relate to the fancy cars and millions of dollars that these rappers sing about, I’ve seen this music effectively calm him down in stressful situations. Rap music gives me nothing but a headache, but if you turn on some Jack Johnson or Jump Little Children, I experience the same euphoria I’ve seen in my rap-loving friend.

Some are drawn to classical music while others find solace in hard rock. Whatever your musical desire is, however, take advantage of the positive effects that it can have on you. Let it turn a bad day around, allow it to be motivation to go exercise, or accept its ability to put you in a more peaceful place. The beat goes on…

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