5 Ways How Music Increases Empathy In Listeners


ways how music increases empathy in listeners

A world without music is as good as a soul devoid of emotions. Here are 5 ways how music increases empathy in listeners.

Recent research has provided evidence that musical interaction can promote empathy. Yet little is known about the underlying interpersonal and social psychological processes that are involved when this occurs.

Music has been with us since the dawn of human civilization. Many consider it a cosmic blessing, while to others, it is their best friend. To composers, it is an art. Whatever it is, music always brings out the best in us. It helps us to express ourselves to the fullest.

But did you know, there’s a direct relation between music and empathy?

In recent years, researchers have established a powerful relation between music and empathy.

In the video below, Musician Diane Miller discusses part of what’s required of us to be captivated by music, especially tunes that represent a culture or community different from our own. Furthermore, how that captivation can lead to empathy, understanding and positive fulfillment.

Yes, music can make a person more empathic. The more we listen to music, the more we are able to cultivate and nourish empathy.

Here are 5 ways how music increases empathy in listeners

1. It Releases Emotional Tension

With the right music, you either forget everything

Throughout the day we accumulate a lot of stress, especially if you’re working. Our nerves tend to stiffen, resulting in chronic fatigue and depression. But what happens when you return home after a tiring day? You put on your earphones and dive into your playlist. The music you play helps to relax your mind. It takes away all the stress.

But at the same time, it replaces resentment and frustration with empathy and compassion. Suddenly you start feeling good and radiate positive vibes. These vibes in turn nourish the empathy that becomes suppressed under everyday hassles.

Read Empathy Can Transform the World

2. It Rejuvenates The Spirit

Music and headphones are only my best friends

We don’t end up liking every music we listen to. But the ones we do, tend to hold a lifelong place in our soul. And it is this very music that lifts any emotional burden that weighs down on us. Whether it is sadness, anxiety, depression, or anger, music helps us to recover and re-energize our spirit. Even the most tired soul gets back the zeal they’ve once lost.

And it is through this rejuvenation do the gates of empathy open. The positive vibe released from the compositions makes us feel good, thus instilling the urge to be more compassionate to others. The negatives only outweigh the positives when we stop listening to our favorite tracks, thus gradually receding from the positiveness. In short music increases empathy.

Read Music Therapy for depression – how can it heal you?

3. The Lyrics Give Us Purpose

Experiencing Goosebumps When Listening To Music Is A Rare Condition

Every human being is born with a purpose. Some discover theirs, others remain ignorant of it. But music is a tool that has the ability to plant the seed to this discovery. It depends whether we are watering it properly or not. Especially when it comes to lyrics, we find a place where we can relate our deepest subconscious thoughts. It happens quite often that we are going through the lyrics, when all of a sudden, they click like a flash of light, rendering a whole new meaning to our life.

Before reading the lyrics you never knew that there’s a purpose, a calling hidden deep within you. But when the words hit you, the emotions tend to resurface. So how does it make us more empathic. Well, finding a purpose in life gives us a sense of belonging. We realize who we are, and what we want. When we find a place in ourselves, we find a place in others as well. This lays the foundation of a more empathic approach towards life. That is why listening music increases empathy.

4. The Magic In Certain Scales

music is the art of thinking

Different composers have their own unique ways of constructing musical pieces. Not all use the same scale or chord progressions. The metronome, the pitch, the octaves function in harmony to give rise to different genres of music. There are some scales however, that deliver a direct hit to our subconscious. It often happens, that you’re listening to a certain song, when all of a sudden, the player improvises on a particular scale or chord progression that makes you tremendously joyous.

The feeling cannot be put in words. It is more of a transcendental emotion that we experience when that particular progression of notes is played. We keep hitting the replay button to get the feeling again and again. Believe it or not, no negative emotion is powerful enough to cloud the empathic vibrations that emanate from these scales. This calms our material agitations and directs our minds towards universal compassion and brotherhood.

Read The Healing Power of Music: How Music Therapy Improves Mental Health

5. It Brings Down Conventional Barriers

When you go to a concert, the authorities don’t judge you based on your nationality. Whether you’re an Asian, American, European, etc, your ticket and seat number are not decided on those parameters. Also, the sound of music is universal. It renders the same amount of euphoria irrespective of race, gender, age and nationalities.

Music speaks a language that is understood by all. It helps remove all the conventional cross border stigmas and create a spiritual bonding overseas. Thousands of people from across the globe gather in concerts to celebrate communion. The empathy generated from this universal brotherhood is one of the highest forms of positiveness.

No cultural orthodoxy, no matter how constitutionally justified they are, can tarnish this spiritual bonding. Throughout history, music has proven itself as one of the prime movers of emotional upliftment and empathic revolutions across the world.


  • Greenberg, D.M., Rentfrow, P.J. and Baron-Cohen, S., 2015. Can music increase empathy? interpreting musical experience through the empathizing–systemizing (ES) theory: implications for autism. Empirical Musicology Review10(1-2), pp.80-95.
  • Kalliopuska, M. and Ruokonen, I., 1993. A study with a follow-up of the effects of music education on holistic development of empathy. Perceptual and Motor Skills76(1), pp.131-137.
  • Slade, A., Olsen, K.N. and Thompson, W.F., 2019. An investigation of empathy in male and female fans of aggressive music. Musicae Scientiae, p.1029864919860169.
  • Rabinowitch, T.C., 2015. How, rather than what type of, music increases empathy. Empirical Musicology Review10(1-2), pp.96-98.

Ways How Music Increases Empathy In Listeners
5 Ways Music Increases Empathy
Yes, music can make a person more empathic. The more we listen to music, the more we are able to cultivate and nourish empathy.
5 Ways Music Increases Empathy
ways how music increases empathy in listeners pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Can You Find The 3 Hidden Words In This Vision Challenge Within 9 Seconds? Fun IQ Test

Fun Vision Challenge: Find The Hidden Words In Seconds

Attention puzzle enthusiasts and avid word hunters! We are back with another fun optical illusion with answers. This time it’s a vision challenge where you have to find the three words hidden in the picture.

But there’s a catch – you have to spot the hidden words in 9 seconds only! If you are able to do that, then congratulations, you have a powerful IQ, I must say. So, are you ready to take this vision IQ test? Let’s go then! But first, let’s talk a bit about optical illusions.

Related: Center Optical Illusion Test: The Color You See Reveals What Kind Of Genius You Are

Up Next

15+ Quotes From “Bridgerton” That Depict Obsessive Yearning

Best Bridgerton Quotes About Love And Romance

If you like romances and things from the Regency era, these Bridgerton quotes show how obsession can be a form of longing. This Netflix series features several love stories in which the characters experience intense desire and emotions.

Through eloquent dialogues and passionate interactions, “Bridgerton” powerfully reveals the aspirations that motivate its characters.

The series effectively frames the relationship between Daphne and Simon as an embodiment of smouldering attraction while at the same time conveying other major figures’ secretly yearning for each other.

Here are some Bridgerton quotes about love that perfectly sum up obsessive yearning.<

Up Next

Are You Seeing Pink Flags In A Relationship? 9 Signs You Shouldn’t Overlook It

What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship? Warning Signs

In relationships, we usually look out for red flags – those big signs that something is seriously wrong. But what about the less obvious ones? Let’s talk about what are pink flags in a relationship.

These signs don’t scream “danger” but still make you stop and think!

So, What Are Pink Flags In A Relationship?

Consider pink flags in relat

Up Next

4 Mutable Signs In Astrology: The Philosophers Of Duality

The Great Mutable Signs In Astrology: Are You One Of Them?

Did you know that Zodiac signs are classified by modalities or qualities, which describe their character and the stage they represent in a season? Mutable signs of the Zodiac signs are in a group which include Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

These signs signify the death of a season or the end of a cycle. For example, Gemini begins as spring is coming to an end; Virgo starts when summer has finished up its business; Sagittarius kicks off just as fall is wrapping itself off — finally! — around everything it can find; and Pisces starts when winter has almost said “uncle” but not quite.

Related: The 12 Zodiac Signs:

Up Next

Why Handwritten Letters Are So Special? And 5 Reasons to Bring It Back

Why Handwritten Letters Are Special? Clear Reasons

In a digital era where everything is at the tip of your fingers, you’d think handwritten letters would be forgotten. But no, this nostalgic style of communication manages to worm its way into our hearts and hold on tightly. So, are you ready to learn why handwritten letters are special in modern times.

The personal touch it offers is something that people just can’t get enough of. Here we’ll take an in-depth look into why handwritten letters are special, and how they impact both the sender and the recipient.

Related: 11 Reasons Why World Needs More Love Letters

Up Next

Redefining Motherhood: 7 Mom Trends You Shouldn’t Feel Obligated To Follow

Popular Mom Trends, That Need To This Mother's Day

Some popular parenting or mom trends can be both helpful and tricky. They can make you feel like you’re part of a group, sharing in each other’s ups and downs. But sometimes, they’re more about following trends than what’s best for our families.

This Mother’s Day 2024, make it a point to learn why some trends need to go everywhere in this day and age where social media reigns supreme – promising simplicity, efficiency and style.

But not all trends were created equal; some need to be retired immediately. And here are seven mom trends I think have over-stayed their welcome – and why you should bid them farewell too.


Up Next

7 K-Dramas That’ll Give You Second Lead Syndrome

Interesting Second Lead Syndrome Kdramas To Warm Your Soul

Being captivated by a Korean drama usually means being consumed by the romantic tension between the protagonists. But sometimes there’s a twist: Second Lead Syndrome.

This is when you start rooting for the “other guy” — in Kdrama second leads are just as (if not more) charming and supportive than the main lead, and capture your heart as well. It’s an emotional roller coaster as these characters compete for the heroine’s affections, making you torn between who you want her to choose.

Kdrama second leads are often scene stealers with their irresistible charm — from heartthrobs to charming confidants, they’ve got it all. You might have begun shipping the female protagonist with the main lead, but once