Design by Jena Salvatore

Design by Jena Salvatore

You’ve all probably heard of the Mozart Effect which states that listening to classical music can make you smarter. Wow big whoop. Not knocking classical music in any way, but who wants to jam out to Mozart or Bach while trying to pump yourself up for that house party or tailgate?

For those of you who don’t fall into the category of avid classical music listeners, we have some good news for you. Studies have recently shown that listening to your favorite song can actually do the same thing in the brain as listening to classical music. So it’s up to you, Chance The Rapper’s “Coloring Book” or Bach’s “Toccata And Fugue In D Minor.”

Researchers have reported that when we listen to songs that we genuinely enjoy, we activate the default mode network in our brain which normally activates when a person is conscious but at rest. This shows how no matter what genre you like, whether it be heavy metal or soft jazz, our brains react to them the same way…as long as we actually enjoy what we’re listening to.

In a scientific report published by the Nature: Scientific Reports journal, scientists show:

“That listening to a favorite song alters the connectivity between auditory brain areas and the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation. Given that musical preferences are uniquely individualized phenomena and that music can vary in acoustic complexity and the presence or absence of lyrics, the consistency of our results was unexpected. These findings may explain why comparable emotional and mental states can be experienced by people listening to music that differs as widely as Beethoven and Eminem.”

So next time you turn on the classical station on Spotify because you want to feel smarter, just know that your favorite song will be more enjoyable AND more beneficial on building up your intelligence. Who would have thought that listening to D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” on repeat could actually help us become smarter?

Sam Berlin is a freshman Magazine major from small town Cary, NC. She enjoys writing, dancing (terribly), listening to strange music, and making unnecessary jokes. You will hear her before you see her.

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