Can We Become Addicted to Music?

Can We Become Addicted to Music?

Stephanie DiGiovanna, Student Life Editor

Many people claim that they can’t go a day without music, myself included. It’s like a second heartbeat you can’t even imagine going without. Everyone’s had that one artist or album in the “I’ve listened to this about one hundred times on repeat” category. But why is that?

Have no fear. Science can explains:

According to, when we hear a particular tune or song that we like, our brains release the neurotransmitter dopamine, one of the aptly named “happy hormones.” This hormone is also released when we drink a glass of water because we were thirsty or during other “exciting” events.

The NY Times noted that when we’re listening to music, it’s not that we experience a release of dopamine when hearing our favorite tunes, but that we actually release more when approaching our favorite parts of the song. So, technically speaking, our body rewards us for hearing something we find pleasurable. Which is surprisingly similar to the effects on a person’s body when they’re using something to which they’re addicted.

But, rather than a scientific explanation as to why we feel the way we do, is there an emotional tie we have to the words we’re hearing? Some of us feel there’s an emotional and meaningful story hidden somewhere behind those guitar strums, drumbeats, and wonderfully crafted words. Or perhaps the song doesn’t even have lyrics, but the instruments seem to sing more than the words. The increase in emphasis on certain instrumental parts can stir up the most interesting reactions in people—it’s fascinating.

What do our BHS students have to say about this matter? Can we really be addicted to music, or do we just consider an integral part of our everyday lives?

BHS senior Emma Lammers said, “Emotions are definitely why we connect with music. When we hear certain lyrics or rhythms, it triggers an emotion.” Another senior, Morgan Appleton said, “Yeah, I think we are. Music is something enjoyable, plus, it makes us happy, so we’re going to go back to it.”

While we may never be sure of the answer, it’s still perfectly fine to dance around to your favorite tunes, especially if they make you happy.