Mindfulness Everyday

What is Music Therapy?

The power of music is not to be overlooked when considering its usage for therapy. When thinking about therapy, people often think of it in a very traditional way which is often portrayed in the media. There are various therapeutic approaches and one of them is music therapy. Music may not often be thought of as a therapy method, but it has been proven to be quite useful when added to treatment. The process of it includes: creating, singing, moving to, or listening to music.



Music Therapy: In what ways does it help?

Music therapy was found to result in a decrease in anxiety, improve depressive symptoms, and improve the functioning of people with depression compared to treatment as usual. In those struggling with substance use conditions, it has been demonstrated to improve emotional expression, group interaction, development of skills, and overall quality of life.

Music has the power to shift and bring forth certain emotions a person might not otherwise be feeling.



Try doing a therapeutic music exercise yourself:

  1. Start off by rating the level of stress (anxiety/depression) you feel prior to listening to the song.
  2. Rate how much you like the song on a scale of 1-10.
  3. While listening to the song, jot down words or phrases that stick out to you, along with emotions you experienced throughout it.
  4. After listening, explain what you feel the song is trying to express. Also, try writing down any memories or images that possibly came to your mind while listening.
  5. Rate your level of stress (anxiety/depression) on a scale of 1-10 after listening to the song.
  6. Name a song where you can relate to a certain emotion and name that emotion. (Example: anxiety, fear, stress, happiness)
  7. Respond with a song that reflects that emotion.


If positive, it’s good to note how certain songs are able to uplift moods and possibly bring forth good memories. It’s important to notice this because, in times when you could be feeling sad, a song that brings happiness to you can possibly bring up your mood!

If a negative reaction results from the song, it can be beneficial in that it may help you process the emotions you may not be wanting to feel. Finding a song that relates to your situation and what you are feeling can bring forth emotions such as sadness, anger, and even anxiety. For those who struggle to express those emotions, it can be helpful. It can provide a new avenue of communication and way to express yourself.

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