Home Healthier Life The Positive Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

The Positive Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

by Tatiana Plesco
Music Therapy

Music is a basic and regular part of our daily lives. Whether you are at home, in the streets, at work, or anywhere else, music is the buzzing background that is much more preferable than dead air. Every individual is a music person. It’s just a matter of knowing what genre of music you feel most connected to. Regardless, music is a big part of us and the entity responsible for the soundtrack of our lives.

They say that when you are happy, you listen to the beat; and when you are sad, you listen to the lyrics. This proves how much music affects our emotions, our physical reactions and our psychological responses to hearing sounds, beats, and songs. Sometimes you would stomp your feet or jump up and down to the beat; or tears would run down your cheeks when you hear a soulful tune, or you sing along to a song that touches your heart, or you just want to sing the lyrics to the top of your lungs because it feels good.

Music has a powerful effect on us. Music therapy is a method used to promote positive psychological responses and help work against stress. Here are the positive impacts of music therapy on mental health.

  • Music converts your mood

To put it simply, music makes you happy. Why do people listen to music? They like the song, sure. They want to be more upbeat with whatever task they are doing, maybe. They want to convert their thoughts and emotions, yes. All these reasons come back around to a common denominator: they want to improve their mood.
music converts your mood

A real-time effect of listening to music is it shifts your thoughts and mood. The study also shows that listening to positive music can improve the overall disposition of a person within one to two weeks. Continuously listening to positive music can give you a more positive mood and daily outlook.

  • Music improves cognitive abilities

Studies suggest that listening to calm background music while studying can improve cognitive abilities in terms of memorization and understanding. Listening to upbeat music can improve speed and precision when performing tasks.

Many, however, prefer instrumental sounds and music with no lyrics when studying and performing a task. Lyrics and songs may be distracting to those who would like to concentrate on the task. Also, it is advisable to keep the volume low when playing the background music so it does not interfere with your thought processing.

  • Music encourages emotional expression

Some would say that a peek into someone’s playlist or favorite-songs list can tell you a lot about that someone. Music can be a window to understanding a person’s personality. This is because music is one form of emotional expression.

music encourages emotional expression

For many people, when you are down and sad, you listen to calming and soulful music to help you distress. Some people, when they are angry, would listen to rock and roll music while some listen to it for relaxation. There are many different kinds of interpretation each individual have that allows them to express how they feel even without saying a single word.

  • Music pump up your motivation

Have you noticed that these days, people who run and workout in the gym have earbuds plugged in and they are listening to their own workout playlist? Studies show that listening to upbeat and fast-paced music are motivating people to push themselves further and work out a little harder. Listening to music during exercise is one way to avoid burn out because, while it motivates you, it also entertains you while completing your sets.

Have you also noticed how much dance exercises classes have become more popular these days? These dance classes have music playlists transitioning from warm up, full exercise to cool down. These songs have upbeat tunes to keep a fast pace during exercise and to keep you moving and dancing to the beat.

  • Music might reduce the symptoms of depression

While depression and anxiety need sensitive care, studies have shown that music therapy does not have negative side effects in these cases. This means that music therapy can be a safe approach to reducing anxiety and depression in patients. This is supported by how music affects the mood of an individual – meaning the type of music is important.

symptoms of depression

Classical music is shown to have the most positive impact on patients, while techno music and heavy metal can reverse the positive psychological and emotional effects especially to patients with depression and anxiety.

  • Music boosts your immune system and reduces your pain

An insight into the study of fibromyalgia patients shows that a group who listens to music regularly have fewer to no symptoms of chronic pain, as compared to individuals in a control group who were advised to not listen to music. In research showing the relation of music to pain management, listening to music before surgery can lessen the anxiety level, and after the surgery can reduce the pain.

Music can also help you sleep better, have a more positive outlook, and since music motivates you to exercise and workout, this improves your overall physical health and immune system.

While listening to music is a calming experience, it would be a different level of satisfaction when you are the one playing it. Consider music lessons to learn different instruments and the laws of music.

Whether you have your earbuds on; or you play through speakerphones; or you boost your speakers on full volume while you yell out the lyrics of your song, there is no doubt that music is an important factor in our day to day survival on many emotional roller coasters.

Updated: 23 April 2019

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