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Music and Mental Health

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Music can help us express our emotions through lyrics and sounds. Music has the power to change our mood, help motivate us through workouts, and calm us down when we are upset. According to the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who listen to upbeat music can improve their mood and happiness in as little as two weeks. At Harmony Bay Wellness, we understand how effective music therapy can be in addressing mental health issues.

Music and Mental Health

In recent years, music therapy has gained popularity for its healing benefits. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, research has shown that music therapy, when paired with traditional therapy, can help treat a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, trauma, schizophrenia, and grief. Music therapy is broken up into four main types which include:

  • Lyrical Analysis – This involves using songs to facilitate a group therapy discussion and create a space to discuss emotions and grief. Patients usually pick the songs and how they feel they relate to their personality and emotions.
  • Improvisation Music Playing – This is known as a process in which the patient and therapist create music together through singing or playing an instrument. This style of music therapy is effective for adolescents because it can encourage them to foster their identity.
  • Active Music Listening – Music is powerful in regulating mood, thanks in part to the rhythms and repetitions that are easily recognized. Music has the power to calm our minds and reduce impulsivity. In practicing active music listening, a therapist may begin with music that matches the patient’s current mode, slowly shifting to music that reflects positivity and calmness. This method of music therapy can be done in person at a therapy session or at home by yourself.
  • Songwriting – This type of music therapy can take place in a group or individually. Patients create lyrics to perform and record their own songs with the goal of externalizing thoughts, fantasies, and emotions.

Types of Music

It has been suggested that the type of music individuals listen to can even provide insight into various aspects of their personality. Here are some of the many benefits that music has on mental health, including:

  • Improved cognitive function – Turning on instrumental tracks while working and completing tasks can help individuals become more productive and focused. Playing upbeat music can lead to increased processing speed and improved memory.
  • Better Sleep – There are many approaches to treating insomnia and common sleep disorders. Research has shown that listening to classical music before bed improves sleep function. This is a great treatment option for those who are struggling with sleep issues or insomnia because it is low cost, safe, and effective.
  • Improved motivation- You may find that it is easier to work out while listening to music with a faster tempo. This is because fast-paced music is usually a good motivation to work harder. Research has discovered that when music is sped up during a workout, individuals are more likely to have longer distances ran or cycled, longer workouts, and higher heart rates.
  • Reduced stress and depression symptoms- Classical and meditation music offers a wide range of benefits for those who are experiencing depression or stress symptoms. Listening to music when you are depressed, or stress can lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and act as a distraction to negative emotions.
  • Increased memory- Research has shown that playing an instrument enhances memory power by using both sides of the brain.

Harmony Bay Wellness

Music can be enjoyed anywhere and provides many psychological effects that can improve your health. Incorporating music into your everyday life can provide many benefits. To learn more about how music can affect your mental well-being, contact Harmony Bay Wellness in South Jersey today at [Direct]. At Harmony Bay Wellness, we offer a wide range of integrative wellness services to assist you in your treatment.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.