Song Rotation Cycles – What is it and why do they happen?

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Noor Kanaan

Do you ever start your week with a handful of songs that you listen to on repeat until you’re sick of them? For most people, this happens pretty frequently. Personally, I get obsessed with a certain handful of songs, usually 5-7 of them, and listen to them over and over until I can’t stomach hearing them anymore. Then at the end of the week, I find new songs to get obsessed with. 

This is what some call a song rotation cycle. Researchers found that when someone listens to music, their brain releases the happy chemical called dopamine. When listening to their favorite music, a person will get a dopamine rush, ultimately making them feel good and uplifted. In order to feel that rush of dopamine over and over again, they would listen to the song repeatedly. However, if there is overexposure to a song, the appreciation and desire decrease once that fresh exposure is gone. Another reason could be when someone is over familiarized with the song, people tend to get bored of it.

Music is so important to us as a society. Whether it’s helping you through a hard time, helping you focus, uplifting your mood, or comforting you, it plays a massive role in our everyday lives. Some people use music to help cope with emotions or deal with mental health. It also can act as some sort of security blanket for those who need it.

I asked students at MRHS what their current song rotations are and Kaylee Ortiz responded, “my song rotation at the moment is Boys Don’t Cry by Anita, Loveeeeeee Song by Rihanna, and Carolina and Only Angel by Harry Styles.” Adam Bagdough’s song rotation consists of “Lost Kitten by metric, My Alcoholic Friends by Dresdendolls, Chinese New Year by SALES, and Washing Machine Heart by Mitski.” For Jolene Paduani, it was “What You Heard by Sonder, Jungle by Drake, Trust Issues by Drake, Session 32 by Summer Walker”.

This shows that people’s music taste is so diverse because it’s what comforts them. Everyone has their own things that they deal with and they find music that they can relate to.