How Does Creative Expression Help Us to Know Ourselves Better?

I have several songs in my music collection that speak to me. There’s a dance performance that moves me every time I see it. And an essay from my favorite author helped form my beliefs as I was developing my own political identity.

It seems art can sometimes communicate directly with our soul. How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? What are the benefits of fiction? Why does music evoke emotion?

Why Does Music Evoke Emotion?

People love music. The exact type of music might change from person to person, but it seems like the interest in making music and listening to music is baked in to our DNA.

Music can have a powerful effect on people. It can make people laugh, provoke fear, bring them to tears, or make you tap your foot. Hearing a particular song can instantly bring back a memory from long ago.

But why? What is it about music that speaks to us as a species? Why does music make us feel anything at all?

Related questions: How is music like a language? How does learning music change the way we think? How can music be bad or harmful?