Changing The Tone Of Your Voice May Boost Your Mood, And Here’s How

If you want to feel happier, try sounding happier.

That’s according to a new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, which finds that our emotions don’t just affect our voices — our voices can also influence our emotional state.

“The voice is one of our main channels of emotional expression, and the results of this study indicate that when we speak we do not just influence others but also ourselves,” Dr. Petter Johansson, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden and one of the study’s authors, told The Huffington Post in an email. “In a sense, we listen to our own voice to find out how we feel.”

For the study, an international team of researchers created a digital audio platform that allowed them to covertly alter the emotional tone of people’s voices while they were talking to make them sound happier, more sad or more fearful. (The voice manipulation platform is available online here.)

Then, the researchers asked 109 participants to read a short story aloud while listening to themselves through a headset. During this experiment, the researchers were subtly manipulating the participants’ voices to sound happier, more sad or more fearful without the participants’ knowledge.

The researchers found that when people listened to their altered voice, it changed their mood. They took on whatever emotion their voice was expressing — whether happiness, sadness or fear.

“There is a lot of emotional information contained in a person’s voice, such as change in pitch indicating happiness or sadness, increase in volume showing anger, vibrato indicating fear or stress, talking speed signaling excitement, and so on,” Johansson said.

How did the researchers manipulate the emotional tone of the voices? To make a voice sound happier, for —> Read More