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Music and Mental Health: How Music Helps Mental Health

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lady listening to music with headphones

When you’re feeling down, sometimes turning on your favorite song can change your entire mood. While it may seem like a brief distraction, it’s not just in your head. Music can work on a deeper level to improve your mental health.

The Effects of Music on Mental Health

In some cultures, music has long been thought to have the power to help heal, but the psychological benefits of music are still being discovered and researched for use in modern society. Our Cleveland Health and Wellness Center shares some of the many ways that music helps mental health.

Boost the mood

One of the ways that music affects well-being is through its ability to improve a person’s mood. Several studies have found that both music therapy techniques and simply listening to music can improve a person’s mood.1 Even listening to sad songs can be beneficial. A UK study found that around a third of participants who listened to sad music felt better mentally after the song ended and even found the experience pleasant.2

Reducing stress

Another way that music helps with mental health is by reducing stress. Musical interventions have been found to significantly reduce stress responses both psychologically and physiologically.3 Not only do people feel less stressed, their body also responds less drastically to stressors. These physiological responses include lower cortisol levels, decreased heart rate, and lower blood pressure.3

Decrease in depression

Along with the effects of music on mood and stress levels, music therapy is sometimes used for people with depression. When music therapy is used in combination with traditional treatment methods, patients experienced fewer depressive symptoms than with traditional treatment alone. These same patients battling depression also saw a decrease in anxiety levels and better functioning when music therapy became part of their treatment plan.4

Pain management

Along with the psychological effects of music therapy, this holistic mental health treatment can also help with physical pain in a way that also promotes overall mental well-being. The use of music therapy can not only decrease pain, as well as the amount of sedation used during procedures, but it can also reduce anxiety surrounding the procedure and improve patient satisfaction.5

As the mental health benefits of music continue to emerge, more and more treatment centers are using music therapy programs as part of their regular treatment plans. These programs can include a variety of different musical activities and when combined with psychotherapy, they can be beneficial for some people. So the next time you’re feeling down, go ahead and pick up the pace. It can help more than you think.

While the mental effects of music can be beneficial, if you are having difficulties, it is important to seek professional help. Our Rocky River, Ohio therapists and psychiatrists are here to help you better manage your mental health symptoms. With a combination of evidence-based practices and alternative treatment programs, you could be well on your way to living your best future. Contact us today to learn more about Vertava Health Rocky River or our other locations.

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