Often associated with certain states of mind, music can elicit emotions such as joy, anger or even nostalgia.
Taking this information a step further, Spotify embarked upon an innovative study. The streaming platform, in collaboration with an expert in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, has revealed a selection of popular songs that are particularly powerful emotional triggers.
Read: Music for every mood!
"Music can have powerful effects on our emotions: from making us happy, to enabling the ability to overcome fear, certain music can trigger emotions and hormones that directly affect our moods," explains Jacob Jolij, professor of Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Grogingen. "The list of tracks compiled with Spotify highlight some of the most effective songs to take us from sad to happy or angry to optimistic."
To trigger happiness, the list suggests the Katy Perry track Birthday. The hit song's fast tempo, according to Spotify's expert, makes it one of the best ways to get into a good mood. On the other hand, the much slower I Need by OneRepublic, with its minor chords, is listed as a song that provokes sadness, defeat and uncertainty. Coldplay's Magic, a slow and relaxing song with major chords, is described as a way to minimize stress response and overcome fear.
Spotify's top emotional trigger tracks:
1. Happiness - Katy Perry, Birthday
2. Sadness - OneRepublic, I Need
3. Optimism - American Authors, Best Day of My Life
4. Anger - David Guetta, Bad
5. Overcoming fear - Coldplay, Magic
6. Excitement - Avicii, Wake Me Up
7. Nostalgia - John Legend, All of Me