Journaling with music

Pretty interesting post today on the merits of using a playlist of music to document life experiences. Too busy to write? Love music? A nostalgia buff? Why not use the power of the playlist to document your true feelings at a given point in time? Heck, I even did it with the most recent post to this blog.

There’s actually science backing up why music triggers such visceral memories — a 2013 study at the University of Newcastle in Australia found that pop music helped patients with severe brain injuries remember pieces of their past. The study played the most popular songs from the patients’ life, and asked participants about whether they liked it and what they remembered. The study was the first of its kind to look into how music-evoked autobiographic memories (MEAM) affects people with brain injuries. According to Psychology Today, “Songs that evoked a memory were noted as being more familiar and more well liked than songs that did not trigger a MEAM.”

A UC Davis study mapped the brain while participants listened to music and found that familiar music activates regions of the brain linked to emotion and memory. Petr Janata, the study’s author said, “a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that stays playing in our head.””It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye,” Janata said in a press release. “Now we can see the association between those two things — the music and the memories.” A more recent study from McGill University tested responses to four different moods of music, and concluded that “happy” samples of music triggered the fastest memory recall.