Frisson

Merriam-Webster defines frisson as

a brief moment of emotional excitement

This is the feeling or sensation you get when your favorite song starts playing and the music just sorts of, washes over you. For a long time I just called it “goosebumps”. The correct term it turns out, is actually “frisson”.

I believe this is why we are addicted to listening to music; we are addicted to experiencing frisson. I didn't come up with this idea on my own. I stumbled upon it when I was researching how to use the Equalizer on my external sound card, to get my headphones to sound exactly the way I want it to on certain songs. I was on a website that had an article about it. (I wish I could link that article but I no longer remember where I found it on the web.) But essentially the article stated that some of the most popular songs deliver a constant stream of frisson. They even made some sort of study and the result was, some of Adele's songs when listened to in high-definition, delivered the most amount of frisson to listeners.

So there you have it folks. When we plug in, we are actually looking to experience frisson. I know that rings true for me as well. It's also not just the frisson, I also find that there's a calming effect to listening to my preferred genres of music.

I'll end this post with the song that is giving me frisson this morning.

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