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What Your Taste in Music Says About You

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Pop, rock, jazz – everyone has their preferences. Have you ever judged anyone based on their favourite songs? Of course you have, and rightly so. Science says that there is in fact correlation between your music preferences and your personality.

This is no way a guarantee of who someone is, but psychologists have linked certain brain chemicals to particular kinds of music. A famous example is of people using classical music to relax. This is because the repetitive, simple melody of instruments calms the brain because it has a rhythm to relate to. People who listen to classical music are also more likely to be smarter, studies have found. However, learning to play an instrument will make you a smarter person, and therefore more likely to enjoy classical music. Similarly, folk/jazz/blues people are deep, emotional thinkers who are intensely creative and open-minded. People who enjoy pop are more likely to be outgoing extroverts with high self-esteem, just like the hip-hop lovers. Heavy metal and electronica fans are more likely to be creative and gentle, a sort of a younger version of the classical music lovers. Rockers are, on the other hand, easy going yet selfish, preferring a ‘live fast, die young’ approach to life. Finally, the country singers. Hardworking, yet narrow-minded, country music fans are traditionalists with high empathy. Of course, none of this defines who you are as a person.

Your taste in music changes as a child, but after the age of 20, you will like the same sort of music for the rest of our life, usually. Your parents are the greatest influence on your music choices. It has not been proven, but it is believed that your music preferences are actually in your genetics, and therefore are predestined from birth, in a similar way to personality traits that are passed on. Your favourite song, however, is an exception to this rule. The reason you love your favourite song is not because of your parents, or even the way it makes you feel, but because of the memories and experiences attached to it. If you heard a song at an emotional moment in your life, this will become one of your favourites because of the feelings your brain associated with it.

While this is fascinating, what can we actually do with this information? Well, there is a range of ways we can use music to improve our lives. Here are 5 ways you can use music in your everyday life:

  1. Listen to your favourite music to help you relax or to reduce pain
  2. Play classical to help you focus
  3. Use fast, angry music to temporarily boost your performance (either mentally or physically)
  4. Learn to play an instrument to increase your IQ
  5. Connect to others through atmospheric music

While judging people based on the songs they like isn’t necessarily the best way to learn about each other, music certainly is an essential ingredient to leading a healthy life. Whatever music you enjoy, keep playing it – you’ll be happier for it.

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