What Is the Connection between Self-Esteem and Music?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Self-esteem and music are connected in various ways. Music does not need a language in order to connect with a listener. In this sense, music can be said to be a language of the soul. It affects the mood of the listener and can affect the listener’s self-esteem through the type of mood it triggers. A melody, tune, sound or some lyrics may be attached to some memory that has been stored in the recesses of a person's mind. The feelings associated with that memory may be the trigger for the listener's state of self-esteem at that point in time.

For instance, someone who was attacked in an elevator while classical music was playing might thereafter associate classical music with a time of helplessness, which might resulting in feelings of low self-esteem when the person hears classical music. On the other hand, the same classical music may evoke feelings of joyful reminisces for someone who associates the music with a happy time in his or her life. For someone who is just hearing classical music for the very first time, the person’s mood may only be affected to the degree that the song might be soothing, pleasurable or peaceful. As such, different people might be affected in a different way by the same music.


With varying experiences, self-esteem and music cannot be said to have a formula in which the effect of any particular piece of music will influence the mood — and consequently, the self-esteem — of listeners in the same way. The effects come mostly from the sense of association and the sense of perception of the feelings associated with the mood evoked by the music. For some people, listening to rap music might make them feel good, increasing their self-confidence and also elevating their self-esteem. For others, it might just sound like a lot of noise, which further depresses them and lowers their self-esteem.

Self-esteem and music are also connected because the type of music a person listens to the most can perceptibly affect his or her outlook on life. For instance, some people might have the impression that those who listen to a lot of heavy metal rock often have a more pessimistic outlook on life than those who listen to R&B, country or classical music. The true effect of self-esteem and music lies in the way the listener perceives and processes the music in his or her subconscious in relation to the perceptible effect it has on his or her mood.


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Post 3

I had not made the connection between music and self esteem, but I think anyone who has ever been a teenager knows the importance of music. There just seems to come a point in people's lives when music is one of their most important outlets.

I never tried to define why music was so important to me as a teenager and young adult, but looking back now, I think it may have had something to do with my self esteem. The music I listened to made me feel better about myself. I know this is corny, but the music I chose to listen to spoke to me, and it motivated me to become the person I wanted to be.

Post 2

Songs can push my buttons like nothing else. I hear a song from the past and it automatically makes me feel a certain way, like the classical music and elevator example given in the article. When I'm down, feeling a little blue for whatever reason, and I want to perk up a bit I go to my musical collection and pull out my happy songs. These are songs I associate with good times in my life.

At this point, I can't remember why certain songs improve my mood; I just know they are my happy songs. I also have my sad songs, which sometimes actually make me cry, and my energy songs and so on.

Post 1

Music can bring out strong emotions. Ever wonder why sports teams are more likely to play hard rock or rap before a game rather than playing Air Supply or Neil Diamond? I bet most people can figure out the reason behind those musical choices.

Not only would the football team get laughed off the field if they came out to a soft ballad, but the song wouldn't have the desired emotional effect. Some music just gets you pumped up and your adrenaline flowing, and leads to a feelings of confidence and greater self worth.

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