“Music is the medicine of the mind.” – John Logan
From the earliest days of civilization, music has been used to heal the body and soul. While growing quickly in popularity in recent years, you may be surprised to know that music therapy has been around since the 1800s. It’s been shown to promote wellness and manage stress. On its website, the American Music Therapy Association lists more than a dozen studies supporting the benefits of music therapy for individuals with depression and anxiety.
Why is music therapy valuable for anxiety and depression? Anxiety is marked by a variety of adverse effects, including increased heart rate, panic, higher production of cortisol, worry, muscle tension, and apprehension. There are many meditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques that can help calm down the adverse emotional and physical symptoms associated with anxiety. Music therapy can also be used for anxiety alleviation, with the added benefit of being entertaining and restorative to the fine balance between the body and the mind. A number of studies have found that depressed patients who received music therapy experienced fewer symptoms and reported an improved sense of well-being. These findings suggest that music therapy, in addition to other forms of treatment, can be beneficial, especially for those with a deep love for music.
Is music therapy different from music listening? Music listening that makes you feel good is therapeutic because it has the ability to enhance your state of mind. Music therapy, in contrast, is goal-driven. The role of music therapy is to complement and enhance the clinical work being done in individual, group, and family therapy. There isn’t one type of music that is more therapeutic or useful than the rest; it all comes down to musical preference. Music therapy interventions used in the treatment of anxiety and depression include lyric analysis, music making, clinical improvisation, music-assisted relaxation, and group singing, among others.
Find the music that inspires you. Music is a tool that helps restructure thought patterns and restores balance to your system. What songs take your attention away from the negative and toward life’s positive emotions? These melodies can be a valuable part of your personal music therapy experience. Crank them up and get back to the playful days when fun was part of your everyday routine.
While everyone responds to music in his or her own way, its benefits are universal. To learn more about music therapy and how it can help you, please reach out to us.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C, LICSW, CEDS, Executive Director at The Better Brain Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 833-964-8483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.