The Effect of Lyrical Music on Hopelessness in College Students


The Effect of Lyrical Music on Hopelessness in College Students


Hopelessness is a product of negative future expectations, negative feelings toward the future and feeling a lack of control over future improvements. One of the major factors that play a role in hopelessness are Negative Life Events (NLE) along with the interaction of negative inferential styles. College students are seen to experience both NLE and engage in negative inferential styles which is seen in their portrayal of hopelessness. The aim of the study was to reduce levels of hopelessness in college students through an intervention that involved listening to songs having hopeful lyrics. The study strived to answer the following question: Can hopeful lyrics in songs can have an effect on hopelessness? The sample consisted of college students (N=66), who were randomly assigned to three groups, namely the lyrical music group (hopeful lyrics and music), music group (only music) and the control group (no intervention). The Beck???s hopelessness scale was used to measure their levels of hopelessness before the intervention and at the end of 4 weeks. The lyrical music group and the music group participants were exposed to songs and instrumental tracks twice a week, for a duration of 4 weeks. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank test for related samples was used to analyse the effect of the intervention or lack of, on levels of hopelessness. The Kruskal-Wallis was used to analyse the difference score between the three groups. Results indicated that the lyrical music group (p = .001) had a significant difference in levels of hopelessness after the intervention, however the music group (p = .072) and the control group (p = .402) showed no significant difference. There was a significant difference between the three groups with regard to the difference obtained from their pre-test and post-test scores (p = .03). Pairwise comparisons have helped to see where that difference lies. Thus it can be concluded that hopeful lyrical music does have an effect on hopelessness and can be seen as differing from the functions of music alone.


Sonia Elizabeth Prasadam






Sonia Elizabeth Prasadam, “The Effect of Lyrical Music on Hopelessness in College Students,” CHRIST (Deemed To Be University) Institutional Repository, accessed March 5, 2024,

Output Formats