THE EMPATH AND SOUND: SO MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC TO MY EARS!

Janice Tovey
3 min readAug 31, 2021

A Whole Body Experience!

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Love That Song

Does music excite you the way it excites me? Do you rush to call a friend or family member to gush about a new song? Do you listen over and over like an addiction? Does it lift you to a higher place? Does it fill your brain with light? Are the sounds, tones, rhythm and words so exquisite that you can’t get enough? Can you taste, feel, and see it?

Exquisite Sounds

If this is true for you as it is for me, welcome back to the Empath’s magical world. And aren’t we the lucky ones! Empaths are more sensitive to all stimuli. This includes social stimuli.This is an undisputed fact. When we listen to music it is as if we are in the presence of another person. When music and empathy converge in the brain of an Empath it is processed differently from the non-Empath.

The Empath Reward Center

Let me explain. It has been shown that Empaths tend to have significantly higher activation centers in the brain overall. When listening to favorable music, these rewards centers are stimulated more than would be those of an non-Empath. Empaths also have higher activation in the parts of the brain implicated with processing social information. A leading researcher in this area, Zachery Wallmark, suggests that music is processed using the same neural architecture used for empathy and other social tasks, and that music likely piggybacked (in an evolutionary sense) upon the neural systems that evolved to help us navigate our social world.

All Music

And interestingly, even unfamiliar music was appreciated more by highly empathetic individuals than less empathetic people even though the brain scans of the empathetic people displayed no increased activation in their pleasure centers. It is hypothesized that when high empathy people are listening to music that don’t particularly care for, they put a brake on their negative emotions and try to give the music the benefit of the doubt. This is not true of the brain activity of less empathetic people.

Boosting Empathy

This raises the question. Could listening to music help all people develop increased empathy. Could listening…

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Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.