Music, Emotion, Motivation, Integrative Health

Can Music Make you feel Powerful?

Have you been listening to some Flo Rida while you workout?  Or do you have the “Eye of the Tiger” being pumped into your headphones while you pump some iron?  All kidding aside, what do you feel like when you listen to some intense music as you exercise?  Do you feel like you can take on the world?  Or at least feel like you can push yourself to have a great workout?  According to a study done by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, say that music can give a sense of power.  The aforementioned is especially true when the music has high levels of bass. 
The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.  The research team had participants listen to 30 second clips of 31 pieces of music varying in all sorts of musical genres.  The subjects were then asked to rate that song made them feel the most powerful. 
More testing has to be done on this, but in my opinion, music does shape how we feel about something.  When I go out for a run, and I am on the last mile of my jog the theme music from Rocky starts playing (I always make sure that the Rocky theme music comes on based on how I shuffle my music in my Ipod).  I can feel myself “getting stronger.”  Yes, this is a little cheesy, but it helps me finish my jog in strong fashion.  I also believe that it isn’t just the theme music it is an emotion that theme music invokes within me.  I imagine Rocky Balboa running and training as hard as he can and it motivates me to do my best as well.  I would also be willing to bet that playing music like this would help in other situations like before giving a presentation or taking a test.  How do you use music to pump yourself up? 

Dr. Shah, MD