Can a playlist be your therapist?  Balancing emotions through music

Can a playlist be your therapist? Balancing emotions through music

Can a playlist be your therapist? Balancing emotions through music

Abstract: The new music app takes listeners on an emotional “roller coaster ride,” leaving them in a more positive emotional and focused state than when they first started listening to the soundtrack.

Source: Acoustical Society of America

Music has the potential to change emotional states and can distract listeners from negative thoughts and pain. It has also been proven to help improve memory, performance and mood.

At the upcoming meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Man Hei Law of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will present an app that creates customized playlists to help listeners attend to their emotions through music.

The presentation, “An Emotion Equalization App: First Study and Results,” will be held at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel on December 5th at 3:15 PM EST in the Rail Head Room as part of the 183rd Annual Meeting of the ASA from December. 5-9 (display, other).

“As the universal language of humanity, music can significantly affect a person’s physical and emotional state,” Law said. “For example, music can help people cope with pain. We developed this app as an accessible first aid strategy for emotional balancing.”

The app could be used by people who may not want to receive counseling or treatment because of feelings of shame, inadequacy or distrust. Taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride, the app aims to leave them in a more positive and focused state than when they started.

Users fill out three questionnaires in the app to measure their emotional status and provide information needed to create a playlist. Current emotions and long-term emotional status are measured with an imaging assessment tool that helps identify emotions in terms of energy levels and mood.

Can a playlist be your therapist?  Balancing emotions through music
Taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster ride, the app aims to leave them in a more positive and focused state than when they started. The image is in the public domain

The energy level can vary from high, medium to low, and the mood can be registered as positive, neutral or negative. A patient health questionnaire and general anxiety disorder screening are also used to establish personalized music therapy treatments.

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By determining the user’s emotional state, the app creates a customized and specifically sequenced playlist using one of three strategies: comforting, relaxing or uplifting. Soothing music reflects the user’s energy and mood, while relaxing music provides positive, low energy. Uplifting music is also positive, but with more energy.

“In our experiments, we found that relaxation and strengthening methods can significantly shift listeners from negative to more positive emotional states. Especially when the listeners are in a neutral mood, all three proposed methods can change the listener’s emotions to a more positive one,” said Law.

About this news about music and emotion research

Author: Ashley Piccone
Source: Acoustical Society of America
Contact: Ashley Piccone – Acoustical Society of America
Picture: The image is in the public domain

Original research: The findings will be presented at the 183rd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America

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