it’s a fact: going to concerts makes us happier people

As if we didn’t already know.

by Annie Armstrong
18 August 2016, 7:50pm

Bikini Kill by Ebet Roberts via Getty Images

You've felt it before, it's that moment when you finally land tickets to see The Strokes after ten years of being obsessed with their entire discography. It's that moment when Rihanna teases three bars of "Bitch Better Have My Money," and an entire arena goes wild. It's when you and your friends decide to go to a free concert and you end up dancing all night, even though you never thought you would like ska music. It went without saying, but now we have definitive proof: going to gigs actually does make you an all-around happier person.

According to a study conducted by psychology professors Dawn Joseph and Melissa K. Weinberg at Australia's Deakin University, there is a substantial correlation between people who habitually engage with live music and people with a subjectively positive disposition. The study states, "music is proposed to reduce stress, and can evoke positive feelings such as joy, relaxation, and empowerment. Music engagement can also be used as a problem-coping strategy, and as a medium for facilitating social relationships, and was even associated with a lower mortality rate in a large national Swedish study." It continues, "Perhaps most importantly, engagement with music is often associated with emotion regulation, with people turning to music as a strategy to help manage and regulate their mood."

Through interviews with 1,000 randomly selected participants, the researchers also found that these positive effects are heightened when the concert-goers socialize with others around them. This seems obvious, but the study's authors observe that in a highly technological world, music does tend to surround us in more passive ways (think: wearing your headphones to isolate yourself on the subway). "Though hearing music is practically unavoidable in today's day and age, engaging with music extends beyond just passive listening…Given the importance of social connection to subjective wellbeing, it may be expected that the benefits of music to subjective wellbeing are limited to those who engage with music as a means of social facilitation."

So, there we have it. Next time you're caught deciding whether or not to spend $15 on a gig, don't think twice. 


Text Annie Armstrong
Photo by Ebet Roberts via Getty Images

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