How To Use Music to Make You Feel More Powerful
by Paula Gardner
What’s one easy way to put yourself into an upbeat, confident mood…something you can do in your own home, or even as you walk down the road?
It’s having your own Confidence Anthem, a song that instantly puts you into the most fantastic mood. Think of Rocky and Eye of The Tiger. Or the character of John Cage (also known as The Biscuit) in Ally McBeal, who draws on the inspiration of Barry White to give him a shot of power before a big course case…or date.
I’m a bit greedy when it comes to my own Anthem. I’ve chosen the whole ELO greatest hits album! ELO instantly lifts me and make me feel happy with a spring in my step. Anything by The Beach Boys has the same impact. Your Confidence Anthem could remind you of a time when you felt extremely confident or happy, such as something that was played at your wedding, or a song from your holiday. Roxanne by The Police falls into that category for me, reminding me of long, hot teenage summers.
The Science Behind Music and Confidence
So, what’s the science behind this? One study which concentrated on manipulating the bass in music, found that the group who were asked to listen to music with higher levels of base seemed to exhibit behaviour that was associated with feeling more powerful. This is something many of those who use music at the gym or on their run will know instinctively. It was also found that it the music, not the lyrics, that has the most effect.
If you think about the fact that our bodies are over 70% water, and that music is vibration, then this isn’t too surprising. Dopamine, the feel good chemical, is released when we listen to music, a Canadian study observed. This just doesn’t happen when you listen, but also when you anticipate the listening…so much for the shuffle on Spotify!
We asked The Bitch Network Instagram members and followers for their own personal confidence Anthems and got the following suggestions…
The Bitch Network Confidence Playlist
Lose Yourself by Eminen
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves
Mr Blue Sky by ELO
Simply the Best by Tina Turner
Nutbush City Limits by Tina Turner
Come Alive! from The Greatest Showman
Survivor by Destiny’s Child
Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child
Dee Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill
Proud by Heather Small
Hit That Perfect Beat by Bronski Beat
Ain’t No Man by Dina Carol
A Quien le Importa by Alaska
Hsu. D, Huang.L, Nordgren. L, Rucker.D, and Galinsky.A (2015). The Music of Power: Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Powerful Music, Social and Personality Science, Vol 6, Issue 1, pp. 75 – 83
Salimpoor, V.N., Benovoy, M., Larcher, K., Dagher, A. & Zatorre, R.J. (2011). Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipating and experience of peak emotion to music. Nature Neuroscience, Published online 09 January 2011, doi: 10.1038/nn.2726