Oh, Joyful Sound!

A team of neuroscientists set off to find the most joyful song ever recorded and found that there was one song that met all of their happiness criteria: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. After studying the lyrics, tone, tempo, and key, the University of Missouri team found that the secret to a feel-good song is in its beats per minute (BPM). Clocking in at 157 BPM, compared to the typical pop song’s 118 BPM, “Don’t Stop Me Now” is an instant way to uplift the soul. A hit since its release in 1978, the song proves that Joy is enduring. In addition to proving that there are patterns to finding Joyful sounds, these researchers’ work shows that there is science behind the power of Joy. Joy is not just a feel-good, emotional state; Joy is backed by data, by reason, and by evidence. And it can be created.

How often are there opportunities to utilize music and sound in our work? What emotions do these songs evoke? How might we bring Joy into the mix?