Why do we become obsessed with music?

Humans are conditioned beings; we’re creatures of habit that respond positively to the release of serotonin, aka the happy hormone. Ultimately, we’ve learned from tender ages that we want to repeat ameliorative feelings and that, coupled with our naturally addictive personalities, is why we become obsessed with things — music included. 

But why is it that we tend to revisit the music we enjoy, rather than opting for new material? And even when we do decide to give something a spin that we haven’t heard before, why do we then become obsessed with that, if it ticks our boxes? Easy — in both cases, it’s because it feels good, to put it simply. 

Music — just as smells, tastes and images do the same — can instantly transport us right back to a place or feeling that we have stored in our mental memory boxes. I’ve touched on this before in when exploring the importance of music during lockdown and the power of discovering new offerings, but our desire to reconnect with those bygone scenarios bring us back to the same sounds over and over again. It’s habitual and we almost can’t help it. In fact, we may not actually want to stray from this familiarity.

During lockdown, it’s strange, but you’re bound to have formed these connections between time and track, which will continue to manifest in your mind for years to come. You might hear certain songs in the future that trigger reminders about these alien times we’ve been living in, and it’ll nudge you into thinking about what’s changed since. It’s the comfort of knowing what to expect from this music that’ll keep you returning to it. 

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