Music as Therapy

There is a growing body of evidence proving the efficacy of music therapy, with writings dating back to Ancient Roman and Greek texts, including the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Music impacts our mood, and its rhythm impacts our physical bodies.

Some of the psychological benefits include improvements to mood, self-expression, communication, and social skills. The rhythm of music can sync up with our body rhythm for physical benefits to your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. It can improve memory and attention as well.

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Tips for using music as therapy and for self-care:

  • Create a playlist that matches your mood then moves toward where you’d rather be. For example, if you are feeling down, play some music that starts sad but gradually becomes more upbeat and positive. If you feeling anxious start with something faster that gradually becomes more calming.
  • Choose a song with a strong beat then try some muscle relaxation techniques. Tighten and release the tension in your shoulders, or other muscles, to the rhythms of the song.
  • Work on emotional regulation and processing by considering how a song or sound feels or journaling about the meaning of a song and the emotions evoked.
  • Improve your self-esteem by playing songs that make you feel good. This also helps build resiliency because when you are feeling down, you can utilize music as a tool to bring your mood back up.
  • Create a stronger sense of identity by listening to different types of music and finding what you connect with.
  • Create a playlist that energizes you for your exercise routine.
  • Write your own lyrics or if you play an instrument, compose your own song to express your emotions and creativity.

If you find using music as therapy beneficial but need more direction and support, search for music therapists near you. If you are feeling anxious or depressed for an extended period of time, please reach out to a local mental health provider or go to your nearest emergency room for a mental health screening.