I have set my alarm to wake me up every morning with one of my favourite songs – the ‘80s classic ‘Born to Be Alive’ by Patrick Hernandez.
It never fails to get me jumping out of bed and singing along to the simple but wonderfully catchy refrain. But as I bopped along to the music yesterday, I began to wonder if I am the only one who is affected by music like this.
Am I the only one who wishes life was a musical and everyone would join in if I started to sing and dance?
One such example of my itchy dance feet was when I was walking home yesterday. On what I thought was a deserted road, I began to dance (because, like Jamiroquai said, there was nothing left for me to do). Unfortunately, I got caught out by two policemen in a patrol car. Luckily, they just wanted to compliment my dance moves and find out what I was listening to.
But surely other people love to croon along to Angus and Julia Stone when they’re sad, whip out Sum 41 when they are angry and bop along to Jamiroquai when they’re happy?!
So I did a bit of Googling (like every gen-y kid, I strongly believe in the powers of Google) and I found some statistics.
Earlier this year, scientists at the McGill University of Montreal established a direct link between the happiness brought on by music and dopamine – a neurotransmitter of the brain which plays a significant role in our behaviour.
In the study, Dr Anne Blood and Dr Robert Zatorre asked 10 musicians, five men and five women, to choose stirring music. The subjects were then given positron emission tomography (or PET scans) as they listened to the music.
According to the study, when the subjects felt ‘chills’ the PET scans showed activity in the portions of the brain that are also stimulated by food and sex.
One of the conclusions that Dr Blood made was that music makes us happy – benefitting our mental and physical health.
So, if we are all affected positively by music like this, why must I hide my enjoyment of music when I’m sitting on the train?
I guess I just have a little less self-restraint than others.
Nevertheless, I can’t wait for the day when life is a musical and my fellow passengers finally join me in a rousing rendition of ‘Hey Jude’.