- Research has explored the great benefits of music for mental health.
- Experts have lauded how music therapy can be effective in treating several psychiatric disorders.
Music has always been dubbed the “food of neuroscience” and its healing powers are universally acknowledged across various cultures. Over time, music has come to be employed in structured, goal-oriented therapeutic purposes to reap the positive effects of music on mental health.
Music And Mental Health
Harmonious and aesthetic sounds comprise a universal language with deep healing properties. Music positively impacts a person’s overall biological, psychological, and social well-being, effectively boosting:
- Cognitive abilities
- Concentration and motivation
- Emotional regulation
- Ability to deal with negative feelings (related to stress, pain, or sadness)
- Ability to socialize and communicate effectively
- Sensory-motor skills
- Memory skills
- Neuroplasticity and reward networks of the brain
How Music Helps Mental Health Care
Research has confirmed the immense effects of music on mental health. In fact, the medical benefits of music for mental health lie in treating the symptoms of several mental disorders, such as:
- Brain injury
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Stress disorders (like veteran PTSD)
- Schizoaffective disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Memory disorders (like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
Music For Mental Health Therapy
Since the 1950s, music has been structured into therapeutic paradigms and treatment plans for physical and mental health needs. Music experiences are strategically designed to utilize the elements of music (melody, rhythm, harmony, instrumentation, etc.) to aid recovery.
Today, music therapy is an evidence-based therapy that complements non-pharmacological methods in the treatment of psychiatric and behavioral disorders. It is administered by a licensed music therapist in therapy sessions that involve experiences of:
- Playing instruments
- Composing lyrics
- Dancing or moving to music
How To Access Music Therapy For Mental Health?
If you are suffering from mental health issues, consider the following measures for an easy start with music therapy:
- Do adequate research on music therapy.
- Consider if this form of therapy is suited to your needs.
- Walk yourself through the pros and cons of how music can improve your mental health.
- Find a professionally qualified music therapist.
- Communicate openly with the therapist and be disciplined in your therapy sessions.
- Healing music therapy goes beyond singing or playing an instrument. Do not be afraid if you feel you are not particularly adept at music or musical instruments. Participate in the musical sessions—freely and without any inhibition.
- Try to interact with music freely and soulfully. For instance, move to the music, discuss the lyrics, play the instrument creatively, etc.
Music affects mental health in a positive way. No doubt, music therapy and mental health have proved themselves to be a promising combination. Fusing “music lessons” and therapy together has also been instrumental in changing the conversation around mental health, especially addressing the stigmatization that plagues mental health care.