Music is a powerful tool. It can help boost your mood as well as mend a broken heart. For centuries, music has played an important role when it comes to our ability to cope with life’s greatest highs and lows. It’s only been in recent years that research has suggested music can help combat depression and anxiety, along with a host of other mental health issues. Music therapy is one technique administered by healthcare professionals to help support people as they strive to improve and gain control over their mental health, functioning, and well-being.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a clinical and research-based practice in which music is used to enhance a person’s overall mood and well-being. Music therapists are trained to incorporate a range of music-making methods as they support and work with their clients to achieve good mental health. Music therapy is a creative and holistic approach to healing, as well as the development of constructive and positive coping strategies. It has proven to play a big role in helping patients recover from negative events and experiences as well as those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
Music is said to enhance intelligence and focus, improve mental health, and boost the immune system as well as self-esteem and confidence. It can be used to relax, boost and lift our mood, or improve concentration. Music can also be used to aid in insomnia, helping to encourage and induce a deeper sleep. Many people have expressed how music is a form of ‘ escape’, and can quickly and effectively transport them to a better time, place, or memory. Here are six benefits that music therapy can have on your mental health:
Improve Focus on work or study: There have been numerous studies proving that listening to classical music helps the mind to focus. Music with a tempo of 60 bpm (beats per minute) increases the brain’s ability to process information. There have also been studies suggesting that EDM (electronic dance music) helps sharpen focus while studying. As a form of Expression: Music is a wonderful way of expressing emotion and creativity without having to say anything. Whether it’s playing a playlist of your favorite songs with friends or strumming your guitar, music is the perfect non-verbal way of expressing emotions that are too complex to talk about.
To Lift the Mood: Playing uplifting songs has a profound effect on the brain, stimulating it to increase feel-good hormones which boost our mood.
To Boost Confidence: Subliminal and ambient music such as binaural beat music is proven to assist in anxiety and low confidence. Using alpha waves from 8-14 Hz help the mind get into a more sharpened and confident state of mind. Listening to binaural beats and isochronic tone music is ideal when you’re feeling nervous or fearful. It is believed that the brain syncs to the new frequency introduced by the binaural beat, altering your ‘brain state’ to a more happy, more confident sense of being.
To Relax: Meditative music has a cathartic effect on us, improving our mood and inducing relaxation of both the body and mind. Research has shown the calming sounds of piano, nature, and string instruments are very effective in helping you to relax.
To Express Anger or Negative Emotion: Music is an incredible vehicle to help us process negative emotions. Listening to ‘angry’ music can be therapeutic when we’re dealing with stress and anger.