Music has the potential to change emotional states and can distract listeners from negative thoughts and pain

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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 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will present an app that creates custom playlists to help listeners care for their emotions through music.

The presentation, “Emotion equalization app: A first study and results,” will take place at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel on Dec. 5 at 3:15 p.m. Eastern U.S. in the Rail Head room, as part of ASA’s 183rd meeting running Dec. 5-9.

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

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

Users take three self-led questionnaires in the app to measure their emotional status and provide the information needed to create a playlist. Current emotion and long-term emotion status are gauged with a pictorial assessment tool that helps identify emotions in terms of energy level and mood.

Energy level can run from high, medium, to low and mood can register as positive, neutral, or negative. A Patient Health Questionnaire and a General Anxiety Disorder screening are also used to establish personalized music therapy treatments.

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

“In our experiments, we found out that relaxing and uplifting methods can significantly move listeners from negative to more positive emotional states. Especially, when listeners are at a neutral mood, all three proposed methods can change listeners’ emotions to more positive,” said Law.


With the rapid development of society, the requirements for talent training are getting higher and higher, and the academic burden of primary and secondary school students who are not yet full of wings is increasing. These negative emotional states can have many negative effects on their physical and mental development [1]. In the past, researchers have mostly focused on negative emotions, focusing on how individuals can better cope with the negative emotions that have arisen.

Today, with the rise of positive psychology, researchers are focusing on positive ways to prevent negative emotions and events from occurring. Mental health education activities in primary and secondary schools should be based on the education and development of students, the development of positive psychological qualities, the realization of psychological potential, and the focus on the prevention and resolution of various psychological behavior problems in the developmental process.

From this perspective, music belongs to an attribute within the category of ideology, which is mainly determined by the socio-economic base and superstructure, while the ideology also reacts to the socio-economic base and superstructure [2]. In addition, from the perspective of human subjective feelings, music affects people’s hearing through sound, and then, the appreciators judge this hearing, whether it is happy, sad, thoughtful, or sad, which in turn brings and influences people’s intuition and other feelings, and even affects people’s emotions and thoughts. Ugwuanyi et al. believes that everything is interrelated and complementary to everything else, except for itself. In the analysis and study of music, music should not be analyzed independently, but about related things, which is important for our comprehensive understanding of music [3].

In modern society, people only have some superficial understanding of music therapy. Some people think that music therapy is just a simple treatment, that is, listening to music and relaxing; others think that we can do self-therapy by just buying a music therapy CD at a video store.

These are wrong. We can relax through music, but we cannot achieve therapeutic effects. Music therapy is a scientific and systematic therapeutic process that includes the application of various methods and theories; it uses all forms of music-related activities as a means, such as listening, singing, instrumental music, dancing, art, and other activities, and the therapeutic process must also have three elements: music, the person being treated, and a specially trained music therapist [4].

This study takes the different effects of different rhythmic music forms on relieving the psychological stress of elementary school students as the starting point of the study and conducts a systematic experimental study to try to select a more appropriate music style to treat and relieve the psychological problems of elementary school students due to excessive academic stress and to guide elementary school students to adopt a more positive and healthy way to face the psychological problems through music education. It is of great practical significance to guide elementary school students to adopt a more positive and healthy way to face their psychological problems, improve their psychological tolerance, and maintain a positive and healthy state of mind through music education.

Then, it is worthwhile for schools and teachers to think about what methods can stimulate primary and secondary school students’ positive emotions and can make them maintain such positive emotional experiences in the long run-in elementary school mental health education teaching [5]. The current mental health education curriculum in primary and secondary schools is mostly lecture-based, and few studies try to integrate music activities into the mental health education curriculum.

This paper will explore a new form of using music activities as a medium to stimulate and cultivate positive emotions among elementary school students in teaching activities, enrich the form of mental health education curriculum, and provide a new curriculum solution to enhance the level of positive emotions of elementary and middle school students [6].

This study is aimed at introducing the idea of positive psychology into the mental health education curriculum of primary and secondary schools and exploring the impact of music-based mental health education classes on elementary school students’ positive emotions through simple and easy-to-use music activities, using their characteristics and unique advantages to stimulate their positive emotional experiences, explore their potential, and develop their positive psychological qualities. We hope to explore the influence of music-based mental health education classes on the positive emotions of elementary school students, promote the localization of positive psychology research, and provide a theoretical and practical basis for the development of school mental health education.

The period of primary and secondary school is a key stage in the development of habits and the shaping of a healthy personality in a person’s life. It is the responsibility of the whole society to encourage primary and secondary school students to develop good habits and have a healthy mind. Music therapy is a method of psychotherapy, which can help them shape a healthy mind and relieve anxiety, tension, and even depression in time without the use of drugs. Therefore, it is of great significance to explore the application of music therapy in the mental health and emotional counseling of primary and middle school students.

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Source: Acoustical Society of America

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