Music Can Help Boost Your Dopamine Levels

February 2, 2011 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Music Can Help Boost Your Dopamine Levels
Scientists have demonstrated for the very first time that music you like can actually trigger the release of dopamine1 in your brain. This can be a very helpful tool for assisting people to overcome bad habits.

Dopamine release is associated with pleasure and reward. We know that dopamine is released in response to food intake and sex, as well as the use of drugs. When a person does not have enough dopamine then they enter a level of “brain pain” that is typically associated with the desire for a quick fix that is typically not good for their health (too much food, drugs, etc.). The researchers showed that dopamine was especially released when music produced higher-level emotional arousal, (i.e., it sent chills up the spine).

It would be my observation, that music you like is supportive of a lower-level release of dopamine that may also be enough to help keep you out of brain pain, cravings, and other undesirable behaviors. The key to the benefit appears to be that you like the music, not whether someone else thinks it is good music.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Music Can Elicit Dopamine Production  Nature Neuroscience,  Valorie N Salimpoor, Mitchel Benovoy, Kevin Larcher, Alain Dagher, Robert J Zatorre.

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