Music listening as a potential aid in reducing emotional eating: An exploratory study
Emotional Eating (EE) is understood as a maladaptive self-regulation strategy to satisfy emotional needs instead of hunger. Consequently, EE has been associated with negative health consequences. Enjoyment of food and music share similar neural activations in the brain and are both used by people for regulating affect. This suggests that music listening could potentially be a healthier alternative to EE. The present study was designed to investigate associations between EE, disordered mood, and music-related mood regulation. A total of 571 participants completed measures of EE, music listening strategies, and disordered mood. Associations between seven different music listening strategies and EE were examined, and also whether these regulation strategies were associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. Finally, we explored associations between music listening and EE in people with low and high (non-clinical) levels of disordered mood (depression, anxiety, and stress). The findings of this research indicated that music listening for discharge (releasing anger or sadness through music that expresses these same emotions) and EE were positively associated with one another. In addition, EE and the music listening strategies of entertainment, diversion or mental work were associated in people with low levels of disordered mood. When disordered mood was high, EE was higher, but was not associated with music listening strategies. These associations point towards the possibility of some music listening strategies being useful as healthier alternatives for EE.
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Citation : Van den Tol, A., Coulthard, H., Hanser, W. (2018) Music listening as a potential aid in reducing emotional eating: An exploratory study. Musicae Scientiae, pp. 1-18
ISSN : 1029-8649
Research Institute : Institute for Psychological Science
Peer Reviewed : Yes