There are two ways to increase your energy level: by energy boosts or energy replenishment. In other blogs, you could read which sounds you need to go after for more energy. In this blog, you can read how music can boost energy to get things done or to replenish you when you’re tired. I present three options that increase the positive effect of music on your own energy level, no matter what taste in music you have.
The right music = more energy
Influence of music on my personal energy level
My husband loves to play the acoustic guitar, but also regularly plays his electric guitar. The moment in the day dertermines if I enjoy this or not. When I come home at 10:30 pm, I find music of both guitars just annying. While after dinner, his acoustic melodies really work; it gets me of the couch and stimulate me to get things done. It’s actually not the timing, but the current energy level that moderates the effect of music. I’m a morning person, so early in the evening my energy level isn’t great and late in the evening, it’s at its lowest. Early in the evening, I have some energy, but music takes it to a higher level to get me started on my to-do-list.
At the moment of writing this, it’s 9 pm and I’m able to concentrate and write this blog in the study, while downstairs my husband plays ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Late in the evening, I’ve used up all my energy and need to replenish it just enought to drag me upstairs and brush my teeth, so I don’t fall asleep on the sofa. I think I’m on to something, but how can we influence our energy level with music?
The power of music
Luckily, the master thesis of Tim Dhondt offers the scientifically proven information to explain me and you how the power of music works and how we can use it to our advantage. He put some general conceptions about music to the test with a survey experiment and EEG brain scans.
How to boost energy with music
Music taste is very personal, but no matter if you like classical music, hardstyle or rock music, there are two general things to motivate or activate yourself: music tempo and music volume. That’s because arousal and stimulation excites and activates us.
Music tempo is important
To boost someone’s energy, music needs to be arousing and stimulating. I put this insight to use at least three times a week during Zumba class. The happy sounds of up tempo latin music let me forget 8 hours of office work and my craving for a good meal. They enable me to put my muscles to work and to keep up with the high jump and steps tempo. Another way I make use of music to boost my energy, for instance during laptop work, is by listening to the ultimate positive energy number ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen. Of course, it’s the best song to sing in the shower, but there is something else that makes it extra qualified for boosting our energy. The fast tempo (156 bpm) is stimulating and arousing. We report feeling more aroused and excited by listening to fast music (Dhondt, 2016).
Actually, EEG brain scans show that music with average tempo (i.e. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, 104 bpm) arouses us more than music with fast tempo (i.e. Seven Nation Army, 124 bpm) and slow tempo (i.e. Bitter Sweet Symphony, 84 bpm) (Dhondt, 2016). Maybe music taste also moderates this, Dhondt didn’t use these examples, but composed special neutral music to do his scientific experiment.
Boost up the volume to boost your energy
What did give clear results in both research methods is volume. The louder the music, the more aroused and excited people feel (Dhondt, 2016). So turn up the volume when it’s time to get things done. But please take care of your ears. I find that in gyms and in concert buildings, the music is always too loud. It stimulates my heart rate so much, that I feel stressed. Luckily, the plastic earplugs with music filter from the local pharmacy help me enjoy my Zumba classes and rock concerts.
Replenish your energy with music
Music can also help you when you don’t have enough energy to what you want to do. For instance, when it’s evening and you still need to do your evening routine or when you have your regular 30 minutes of tidying up during your energy dip. Music on a medium or low volume brings pleasure and relaxation
Choose music in major key to replenish
Music in major key on a low volume is the most pleasant and is thus the most relaxing and replenishing music (Dhondt, 2016). Minor and major are tonalities of music. I invite you to listen to this ‘minor’ version of ‘Don’t stop me now’ to hear the difference. Weird that this makes us so much less happy, don’t you think?
Is music in minor key always a bad choice?
Does music tonality always affect our energy level in the same way? No, it doesn’t. The average person has a nurtured preference for major music. We all think this is pleasant music, because we hear this music at happy events, like weddings and carnivals. From a biological perspective, we can recognise no preference, as both tonalities evenly stimulate our brain (Dhondt, 2016). For instance, the music of Muse is always in minor key, but I love to listen to it! This music really boosts my energy. But when I really need to relax and have low energy, I listen to the playlist below, because it helps me replenish my energy level.
Playlists that boost your energy
Please note that you shouldn’t pick music in minor with a slow tempo; that will never boost or replenish your energy (Dhondt, 2016). Below, you can listen my playlist ‘Energy Boost’, ‘Relax and Replenish’ and ‘Happiness’. but you can also leave a comment. I love to hear about your experiences with music and energy!