Researchers have wondered if “listening to comforting music, as a response to a social loss experience, provides a sense of empathic company as indicated by reduced loneliness and heightened empathy.”
Is a pandemic, such as the one we are living through at the moment, a form of social loss? If we look at social media, there has been an enormous increase in reports of social loss which can come in the form of anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation during this pandemic. We have also seen music used as a means to correct this social loss through apartment concerts, sing-a-longs and jam sessions. Music is both our friend in a time of need and a way to connect with friends in a time of need.
This study examined mood and loneliness and how music listening may alter, and ultimately improve, both mood and feelings of loneliness.
They found the following;
“The results showed a significant reduction of loneliness and a relevant rise in empathy and mood due to listening to self-selected music, irrespective of the listener’s mood or the applied listening strategy, which suggests that private musical engagement in general can provide mood-repair and a sense of connection.”
So it seems that while the active music making we have seen on social media can lift our mood and remedy the feelings of social loss we may have experienced during this pandemic, listening to the music that we choose to change our mood can be just as powerful.