According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, listening to good music can trigger a sense of euphoria that your brain will crave to feel again–just like drugs!
Scientists at McGill University in Montreal have subjects listen to music and report moments where they felt “chills”–the euphoric feelings sometimes experiences when listening to music. PET scans were also conducted which revealed dopamine activity.
Head scientist Valorie Salimpoor stated:
“If music-induced emotional states can lead to dopamine release, as our findings indicate, it may begin to explain why musical experiences are so valued. These results further speak to why music can be effectively used in rituals, marketing or film to manipulate hedonistic states.
…Our findings provide neurochemical evidence that intense emotional responses to music involve ancient reward circuitry and serve as a starting point for more detailed investigations of the biological substrates that underlie abstract forms of pleasure.”
The findings of this study are ground breaking because the dopamine response seen is traditionally seen with immediate rewards (e.g. food) as opposed to something abstract like music.
This intense reaction people have to music explains why music is a universal part of societies around the world across various cultures.