As the world reels from the death of Whitney Houston, at just age 48, what better time to honor her legacy by celebrating the gift she leaves behind: music. Music has a undeniably soul-stirring power. It moves us, shakes us, and inspires us, pushing us to a higher state of mind. No wonder we blast our iPod at the gym, and shimmy at weddings, late into the night. A party just wouldn’t be the same without it. But perhaps, most importantly, music heals us.
READ MORE: Your Mind on Music
It has the science-proven ability to lift our spirits, particularly because it triggers the brain’s delicate reward centers. Hit play on your favorite song, and soon, your amygdala is gettin’ jiggy with it. Your dopamine levels start to twist and shout.
As YouBeauty Facebook Fan Tekla Ross Banks described Whitney Houston’s music: “‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ just makes you feel alive! Good times!!!” Or Valerie Davis: “I used to dance to ‘I’m Every Woman’ and it always made me feel good.”
Why is music so invigorating? Because it enlivens and challenges our mind. The complexities of a musical sequence keep us on guard, sparking our brain in a game of “What note comes next?” A sprightly rhythm has our neurons dancing along.
Amazingly, singing together even boosts a trust hormone—oxytocin—just like hugging someone or holding a newborn baby can. Neuroscientists report that music reduces pain by 21 percent, and depression by 25 percent. It’s wondrously curative.
So while we have lost the legendary Whitney Houston, her music lives on.Let’s follow Jennifer Hudson’s lead at the Grammy’s last night. Flick on the stereo and dance with somebody who loves you—a moving tribute to one of the greats!
READ MORE: The Science of Catchy Music