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Music is the same as drugs and sex, according to your brain

The receptors active when you're high on drugs are the same ones used when high on Beyoncé

Scientific research has come to support something we all probably had suspicions about – the right song can literally be like a drug to you.

In a new study executed at Montreal’s McGill University, a group of participants were given a drug called naltrexone. The substance aims to block drug highs, and is prescribed to addicts to help numb the brain’s opioid receptors, eradicating any pleasure from drug use. Those taking part in the study were given a blind dose of this alongside a placebo, with scientists recording their involuntary movements and own self-reports of enjoyment on a scale of 1 to 100.

They found that the highs felt when taking drugs were not the only thing naltrexone impacted – it also considerably numbed the pleasure felt by subjects listening to their favourite songs. According to the study’s lead author, Daniel Levitin, this shows that your favourite song uses the same “reward pathways” as food, drug and sexual pleasure.

“Music can reliably induce feelings of pleasure, and indeed, people consistently rank music as among the top ten things in their lives that bring pleasure, above money, food and art,” Levitin wrote in the paper, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports. “Although the neural underpinnings of music cognition have been widely studied in the last 15 years, relatively little is known about the neurochemical processes underlying musical pleasure.” 

Participants were apparently instructed to choose two songs that evoked intense emotions, to ensure that the effect would be relatively consistent. Choices included “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys, “Primavera” by Santana and “Turn Me On” by David Guetta (a choice that may throw the whole study into question, I haven't decided yet).

Either way, this could be it guys. Next time you feel yourself straying further from God’s light – texting your dealer or rolling that joint – try taking a minute to breath. Turn on Spotify, play “Thinking of You” by Sister Sledge, repeat the process five times and get on with your day.