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Medical Mysteries of Music

The music genres that make listeners feel most confident: study

[A piece by correspondent Elisa F.G. – AC]

The famous “Aria”, the first piece from Johanne Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations with Glenn Gould, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. In 1991 it was used to terrify cinema audiences around the world and likely to this day still elicits that same fear. Bach was the feeding call for Dr. Hannibal Lector, in John Demme’s masterpiece Silence of the Lambs. The film proved music evokes emotion, even fear, the same way Sexy Boy got wrestling fans pumped for Sean Michaels, how the first bar of The Young and the Restless theme fervors Soap-opera fiends, and how an entire stadium can erupt when System of a Down plays only the first note in “Prison Song.” No doubt music can shift our moods but can it impact how feel about ourselves personally, specifically our bodies?

Survey says yes, after WithinHealth surveyed over 1,000 listeners and dug through a bunch of playlists on Spotify in order to investigate if and how music impacts body image. If you have ever listened to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” and all of a sudden became a model doing your little turn on the catwalk (yeah on the catwalk) you’ve already come to the conclusion that yes, music can impact how we feel about our bodies.

WithinHealth is a treatment centre specializing in patient care for those suffering from eating disorders. With their primary goal of helping people, it’s no wonder they’d conduct a study researching the psychological connection between music and how it makes us feel about ourselves, which all in all is of massive importance.

The hustle is real so popping on headphones to work or work out, cranking the car stereo in traffic, adjusting earbuds for general everyday tasks is usually our go-to as we move through our lives and within doing so we could subconsciously be picking up on impressions of ourselves that may or may not match how we truly feel about our physics.

WithinHealth discovered that the top artist to make listeners feel most body confident is Lizzo, with Taylor Swift, Adele, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga following close behind her on the list and believe it or not rock fans report being more likely to hear a song on the radio and feel good about themselves, whereas country fans are 80% likely to hear a song and feel negatively. Body in the Water, LANY, and Bodylotion are the Spotify artists with the most songs on body-negative playlists. Apparently Flowers by Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato’s song “Confident: make the most appearances on playlists that positively impact body image. What’s more empowering then being able to buy yourself flowers, take yourself dancing and hold your own hand? I get it..

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38519 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “The music genres that make listeners feel most confident: study

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