How Sound Impacts Our Emotions

Sound. It’s one of the five major senses, impacting our lives 24/7. We may not think about it often, but sound plays an essential role in our lives— especially our emotions! Do you remember the last time you listened to a sad song and felt the way the sullen lyrics paired with the violin, pulled on your heart strings? Or what about the last time you listened to a happy song? Do you remember feeling the rhythm of the bass, paired with the energetic tone, as you screamed the lyrics of your favorite song with your car windows down on the freeway? Yeah, we all remember those emotions. Some may argue that it wasn’t the sound itself that evoked these feelings, rather the meaning of the words or the conditions of the day. While this is also true, have you ever just heard the sound of a busy street and immediately felt stressed? Or maybe just listened to raindrops, gently pattering on the roof and felt a sense of peace? Scientists have conducted a hefty amount of research, proving that sound does in fact affect our emotions.

Our emotions tie closely with our perceptions, and our perceptions define our reality. When we hear something positive, whether it be something as obvious as a happy song, or something less obvious like wind chimes tingling in the wind, these are all sounds contributing positively to our emotions. Of course this same logic applies to negative emotions too. Have you ever come home to a sad news story playing in the background of your living room? Maybe you’re not entirely aware of it… it’s just background noise. You may not even know what the story’s about. Nevertheless, you may feel sad emotions creeping in, and the sudden urge to turn off the TV.

Scientists discovered the actual frequencies of sound is what plays a major role in our emotions. The ideal “happiness” frequency is 432 Hz. When listening to music or other sounds on this frequency, people state feeling more calm and content. Whereas people listening to frequencies between the range of 60-100 Hz, remark feeling anxious and even angry. When you hear people arguing, they’re sound is typically between the 60-100 Hz range, so there’s a reason you may feel angry listening to people argue, even if you’re not a part of it! Sound is constantly surrounding us, and whether you realize it or not, it’s playing a major role on your emotions. Next time you feel an emotion for seemingly no reason, observe the sounds around you. Maybe it was the sounds all along making you feel that way!