How to Use Music to Improve Your Mental HealthLindsay Chambers
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that music can directly affect your mood. For example, maybe you’ve used an upbeat pop song to help cheer yourself up, or a high-octane rock song to get you through a challenging workout. Listening to your favorite music, then, is more than merely a pleasant way to pass the time. Some research suggests that music has a surprising array of psychological benefits for your well-being. Instead of thinking of music for its pure entertainment value, consider the following advantages.
If you’ve ever gotten massage therapy or similar spa services, you may remember the soothing music playing in the background during your treatment. Or, you might have taken a yoga class that relied on soft instrumentals or chimes to help set the mood and help all the participants move through the flows more naturally. Listening to music has proven psychological benefits to help listeners relax.
In one 2013 study titled “The Effect of Music on the Human Stress Response,” 60 healthy female volunteers took a stress test after listening either to relaxing music, the sound of moving water or hearing only silence. The findings of this research suggested that the group that listened to music were able to bounce back from stress more quickly.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Disrupted sleep affects the physical and mental health of people from all ages and walks of life. While there are many ways to address problems such as insomnia, listening to music can help you get in the right mindset for sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep or adhere to a consistent sleep schedule, consider listening to calming instrumental music – perhaps alongside yoga or meditation – as part of your pre-bedtime routine.
You know you need to work out, clean your house, finish folding your laundry or do meal prep for the week ahead, but your comfy couch and your Netflix queue are calling your name. What can you do? Use your favorite music as a driving force. If you put on some fast-paced tunes, you’ll find your energy increasing and the pep in your step improving in no time flat.
If you’re feeling low due to life’s challenges, putting on some upbeat, positive music can help you turn a bad day around. Instead of dwelling on things that haven’t gone right for you lately, or feeling sorry for yourself, listen to tunes that make you feel happy. If you want to feel even better, get up and dance.
Reduce Some Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Several studies have uncovered evidence that music can help improve mood through emotional expression. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, combining music therapy with your regular approach to treatment can be more effective than treatment alone. Music therapy is also a low-risk, high-reward treatment because it shows little to no negative side effects.
Use Music to Boost Your Mental Health
Whether you prefer top-40 hits, classical music, EDM, show tunes, R&B or reggae, the music you love can be a tool for improving your well-being in various aspects of your life. Put together a playlist or find one someone else has made, and start your music therapy today.
At Serene Behavioral Health, our mission is to help our clients achieve greater independence through treatments such as cognitive behavioral, dialectical and motivational therapies, as well as four levels of care. If you struggle with mental health issues, contact us today to begin reclaiming your life and your health.