Music and mental health aren’t uncommon words to be found in the same sentence. You hear about it a lot in songs, especially since so many artists have their own internal struggles that they are fighting against, and sometimes music is the best way to get those feelings out. You might not be the next big music star, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from this expressive medium. Music could just be the key to finding a way to deal with your mental health.
How Music Can Help Mental Health
So, how exactly is music able to help you with your mental health? For many, it first appears to be a strange form of therapy, but it is actually very beneficial. Listening to, or even creating, music lowers the levels of cortisol in the body – lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in turn. On top of this, it also leaves you feeling more peaceful and relaxed, which is the ideal setting for trying to boost your mood.
When you listen to music, you are also increasing the amount of serotonin produced by your brain. For those with mental health issues like depression, there is an imbalance of serotonin, and music can help to tip things in your favour a little. The longer you spend listening to the music, the better you will end up feeling – as well as a lot more relaxed. It is important to remember that it isn’t a quick fix, and it does take time to have an effect.
Which Conditions Can It Help?
Music is able to help pretty much every mental health issue out there, and a lot of it depends on personal preference. However, to help you understand just how widespread the impact of music is, here are some of the top conditions that music (and music therapy) have been able to treat and assist with:
- Anxiety (all forms)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism (all forms)
Plus, music has been shown to be beneficial to both children and adults alike – so anyone can give it a try and see if it helps to alleviate any of the symptoms, or get through difficult feelings.
The Kind of Music You Should Try
There are loads of different types of music for you to try when it comes to alleviating symptoms of your mental health conditions. However, if we take a look at depression and anxiety, here are some top listening tips before you plug your headphones in.
Marconi Union’s Weightless is the perfect song for the anxious mind. It is made up of a series of harmonies that have been carefully arranged and consist of beats and rhythms that have been designed to slow your heart rate and reduce the amount of cortisol being produced by your body. If this isn’t your thing, however, songs with a slow and steady beat are the best decision.
If you are listening to music while feeling depressed, research shows that sad songs are not what you should be playing. You may love them, but they could be making you feel worse instead of better. They can lower your mood, and so the best choice would be to play something that is more upbeat and positive.
Music and mental health go better together than you may have thought, and hopefully, this article has shown you just how they can work to help you overcome anything – from past traumas to debilitating panic attacks. If you want to learn more about the subject, as well as music therapy and the benefits it contains, you should take the time to check out our detailed article on the subject.
About the Author
Will is a freelance writer & blogger. If you are interested in more information on music therapy, audio guides and gear reviews , be sure to check out Will’s audio guides here .
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