The Love Hormone

In an ongoing effort to put my life in order, I’ve been reading The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music. On page 142 I found this:

“There’s a hormone in the brain released by the back half of the pituitary gland, oxytocin, that has been called by the popular press the love hormone, because it used to be thought that oxytocin is what causes people to fall in love with each other. When a person has an orgasm, oxytocin is released, and one of the effects of oxytocin is to make us feel bonded to others.”

And on the next page: “Music has been shown to increase oxytocin levels, especially when people listen to or play music together.”

This explains a lot. Now I know why I love the other guys in Delta Moon, and why by the end of a show I love every person in the audience.

But there’s more, on page 158: “Humans and other animals are often unselfish. Geese will come to the aid of one another at great personal risk; vervet monkeys broadcast alarm calls when predators are near, greatly increasing their own visibility to those predators, and meerkats stand guard for predators while the rest of their pack are eating. What is the neurochemical mechanism that supports this altruistic sentinel behavior? Oxytocin — the same social-affiliative hormone that increases trust and social cooperation among humans.”

What the world needs now is a lot more oxytocin.

And now you know how to make it….

(Photo by Arianna Ligi)

6 replies
  1. Tony
    Tony says:

    So now I know why I love you guys so much! It’s the music. Well I guess I knew that all along, but I didn’t know the music actvated oxytocin in my brain. I thought only Rachel could do that. Keep on making music, and I’ll keep on loving you all. Hope to get some more oxytocin soon.

  2. AL
    AL says:

    Hi Tom,
    That’s it!! Very apparent that the audience felt “the love” last Sunday night in Waterloo. The sound of Delta Moon’s twin slide guitars “locked in” with the rhythm section is a Joyous Sound.
    More on the Power of Music; Check out the iPod Project – Alzheimer’s at
    Also; “Alive Inside” documentary 2014

  3. joe wheeler
    joe wheeler says:

    just found your group today on of all places the blues music channel on the local tv cable provider at my mother in laws senior citizen home. Hellbound train was the song. I am an Savoy Brown fan and found myself drawn into your song while visiting with my 88 year old mother in law. Came home and bought two of your cds. You guys are great. keep up the great music.


    • Tom Gray
      Tom Gray says:

      Thanks, Joe. At the senior home where my late mother lived it was all Glenn Miller and Doris Day — except for the day I’ll never forget when they featured Spike Jones. We never know where the music will go, but I’m glad it got to you.


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