Music app creates playlist to fit your mental health needs

App deduces mood through questionnaires, then compiles playlist of consoling, relaxing or uplifting tunes

Watch any movie or television show, and at some point you’ll see a character put on their headphones and lose themselves in music. Now there is an app that creates a playlist targeted to your emotions, acting as a music therapist of sorts.

“Most people use music in their daily lives to reduce stress without even thinking about it,” Jamie George, MM, LPMT, MT-BC, a neurologic and NICU music therapist and executive director of the Roswell-based George Center for Music Therapy, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2020. “Research shows the listening to, creating and participating in or making music reduces blood pressure, increases oxygen intake, decreases perceived anxiety and strengthens neural pathways by releasing dopamine and serotonin.”

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“As humanity’s universal language, music can significantly impact a person’s physical and emotional state,” Man Hei Law of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said in a media release announcing the Emotion Equalization App. “For example, music can help people to manage pain. We developed this app as an accessible first aid strategy for balancing emotions.”

Law’s app deduces a person’s mood through three self-led questionnaires, then compiles a playlist of “consoling, relaxing or uplifting” tunes.

“In our experiments, we found out that relaxing and uplifting methods can significantly move listeners from negative to more positive emotional states. Especially, when listeners are at a neutral mood, all three proposed methods can change listeners’ emotions to more positive,” Law said.

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Law noted the app could be useful for people who avoid counseling because of distrust, shame or other reason. “By taking listeners on an emotional roller-coaster ride, the app aims to leave them in a more positive and focused state than where they began,” the press release states.

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