How Music Impacts your Mental State

Have you ever listened to music and felt moved by it? Maybe it caused you to feel more motivated. Maybe you were stressed at work or school and music enabled you to break that feeling. Maybe it even lifted you out of the dark hole you found yourself in with depression. During the coronavirus shut downs, your mood may have been impacted negatively, it is important to explore how music can impact your mental state.

Benefits of Music Therapy

No matter what your experience with music is, research has proven music to reduce stress, help manage pain, boost motivation, reduce symptoms of depression, and improve your overall mood. Additionally, for people who are struggling with a substance use disorder, combining music therapy with traditional therapy can result in increased treatment outcomes.

Music Can Improve Your Mood

Did you know that music really can improve your mood? A recent study found that listening to personally-chosen music can boost a person’s mood. Listening to music impacts mood regulation such as enhancing well-being, increased positive effect and decreased negative affect, increased relaxation, and reduces stress. Another study mentioned that when you listen to sedative music you tend to feel more relaxed and experience less tension.

When you are exposed to metal or physical stress for long periods of time it takes a major toll on your health. Your body releases cortisol- the stress hormone- and it wreaks havoc on your body. Stress often makes you feel agitated, anxiety, depressed, fatigued, and unfocused. You can experience headaches, insomnia, and aches and pain from prolonged stress. It can even lead to substance abuse.

Music has been found to lower cortisol levels when a person listens to music before, and/or during medical interventions, and/or after interventions. Listening to music even has the power to decrease anxiety and other symptoms that are triggered by stress.

Music Reduces Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is a serious mental disorder that affects people all around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of people living with depression in the world is 322 million. Depression is also commonly found in people who abuse drugs and alcohol. People who suffer from depression are known to have psychological, physical, emotional, and social impairments which can result in loneliness and substance abuse.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that music therapy is an effective form of treatment for people who suffer from depression. It was also found to relieve comorbidities associated with depression such as anxiety, sleep disorders as well as improved confidence and self-esteem.

Music Helps Manage Pain

Another benefit of music therapy is that listening to music has the ability to reduce acute and chronic pain. This is because music provides a distraction from the pain, increases pleasant feelings and pleasure, as well as can evoke memories and induce relaxation. Listening to music releases dopamine from the brain which makes a person feel pleasure. This causes music to have an analgesic effect such as pain relieving medication might because it impacts the central nervous system.

Music Therapy and Addiction Treatment

For a lot of people, music is a huge part of their lives. Therefore, the use of music therapy can be an additional treatment option to enhance a person’s overall treatment experience. Music therapy is a type of therapy that uses music to assist an individual in their treatment. It is thought to help patients tap into emotions and needs that may be hard to express. Music therapy has also been found to help motivate patients to receive addiction treatment. Further, it has been found to elicit positive emotional change, induce relaxation that can be useful for patients who experience repeated relapses of drug use, and can decrease anxiety, depression, anger, and stress.

Oftentimes, people who are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction have fallen into the deep trenches of addiction and are unable to get out. They may be suffering from depression, mood swings, anxiety, and pain. Those are often symptoms that people experience when they are detoxing from a drug and cause people to relapse to ease their pain. The fact that music therapy can help a person manage pain can be extremely beneficial in easing the pain associated with detoxing and preventing relapse. Detoxing often, results in painful withdrawal symptoms and music therapy can be an additional tool to help relieve those symptoms.

Music therapy and even just enjoying your favorite band can positively impact your moods. Especially during this difficult time with the Coronavirus, it is important to set aside some time and enjoy your favorite music. Through the use of music you can experience reduced anxiety, reduced depression, and most importantly, joy.


Patrick is a writer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. Patrick writes about addiction and mental health to help reduce the stigma associated with both. When not working you can look for Patrick at your local basketball court.

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