Tuning Into Music for Mental Health
June 09, 2022
Written by Joan Kleinmann, MT-BC, LRT/CTRS
Music and Emotions
Have you ever been brought to tears by a song? Or heard a song on the radio that made a memory so intense it was like you went back in time? Music has the ability to evoke and intensify our emotions, provide an escape from unpleasant feelings and voice things we otherwise cannot communicate through our own words.
How Does Music Affect Emotions?
Research shows that listening to music has a direct correlation on our emotional state. Music activates the pleasure center of our brain, in the same way that food or smell does. In addition to the pleasure center, studies have found that music activates almost all parts of our brain; therefore, supporting things like cognitive functioning, well-being, learning and happiness.
Since there are so many benefits to simply listening to music, it is no wonder music and therapy have been combined to create Music Therapy, the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions, such as lyric analysis, songwriting and active music making to accomplish an individual’s therapeutic goals. There are many times during therapy when a client’s emotions are too much to verbalize. Music Therapy, along with other integrative therapies, allow clients another avenue of expression. Sometimes this can be the catalyst to unlocking what is truly affecting someone.
Benefits of Music Therapy
There are many principles we can take from Music Therapy to enhance our own emotional well-being on a daily basis. For example, listening to soft classical music before bedtime can stimulate relaxation. When we are feeling down or anxious, we can listen to music that is nostalgic to enhance our mood and reduce anxiety. Listening to upbeat songs can provide us with motivation to complete those mundane household chores, while also enhancing our mood. Singing aloud provides health benefits such as reducing stress, improving mood, lowering blood pressure, improving breathing, and boosts the immune system. So turn up the music, go sing like no one is listening and see how it improves your mood today!
Learn More About Music Therapy