#HappyFacts: Music is Medicine, Joy is Contagious

Each week, Live Happy Radio presents #HappyFacts designed to enlighten, educate and entertain you. 

Here’s a look at what we’re talking about this week:

Music is medicine

Next time you need a boost, reach for your iPod. We’ve all experienced first hand how music can put you in a better mood, but those side effects may go deeper – and last longer – than we realize. While you may consider it ear candy, it’s really a treat for the entire brain and body.

Music influences the part of the brain associated with our emotions and arousal states, which is why it can help override emotions like anxiety, anger and depression. It also automatically helps our brains organize our motor states, which has been useful in helping people with brain injuries “remember” movement. And, if you need more reasons to reach for a happy track, there’s even research that shows listening to music that makes us happy also makes the people around us appear happier. How’s that for an instant cure for the blues?   

Read more about finding happiness in your headphones

Joy is contagious

If you’re happy and you know it…you’re probably making others around you happy, too. The British Medical Journal found that people who are around happy people are 15 percent more likely to report being happy than those who aren’t.

Basically, we’re emotional sponges and we pick up on the happiness and unhappiness around us. Every unhappy friend you’re around increases the likelihood of your unhappiness by about 7 percent. The more happy friends you have around you – and that includes social contacts, spouses and family members – the happier you’re going to be. Choose accordingly!  

Learn more about spreading joy in the workplace

Could this be your happy place?

Naples, Florida, once again took the top spot in Gallup’s State of American Well-being poll, which named it the best metro area for well-being in the U.S. Several factors help make Naples such a happy place, but researchers pointed to the city’s perfect mix of community well-being, such as liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community.

You don’t have to move to Naples to find your happy place, but it’s important to know what community factors affect well-being. Other considerations include liking what you do for work each day and being motivated to reach your goals, having good relationships and enjoying good health.

Explore Bhutan—one of the happiest places in the world

What do you like most about the community you live in? How does it contribute to your well-being? Join the conversation!