By: Pre’Yelle “Prey” Grinkley, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences Well-being Leader
Did you know music improves your overall wellbeing?
Research has shown that listening to music can improve your mood, decrease pain and anxiety, and help with emotional expression.
This year has given many of us the opportunity to redeem ourselves after the coronavirus pandemic. From wearing masks to learning remotely through and being isolate from friends or family, the way we interact with one another and how we treat ourselves has changed indefinitely.
During this period of transitioning back to in-person, many of us have been looking for new methods to keep a good standard of health. While some of us may choose the most common forms of psychotherapy, like counseling, there are other types of psychotherapy that can be used as an alternative to or in combination with traditional psychotherapy treatments. These include art therapy and more specifically, music therapy.
Music Therapy is defined as an interactive process that occurs when the therapist integrates music, and all its elements to help individuals in developing, restoring, or supporting health. Even though music is used clinically in music therapy to help patients reach their unique goals, most people resort to using music as a coping mechanism for personal challenges without even realizing the clinical health benefits that come with it.
Personally, I’ve always noticed myself wanting to write, listen to, or play music that communicates or expresses the emotion that I feel that moment. Without knowing the scientific facts of how music affects my brain and body, I have always noticed that I feel happier or healed after listening to music that resonates with me. Music has always been the best medium to help get my message across and it’s the most effective when I am helping people understand how I feel. Throughout my life I learned that music has no language barriers, and it can be used to spread a message internationally because everyone can understand music regardless of the languages they may speak.
Listening, singing, playing an instrument, or making music are all examples of music therapy activities. Interventions in music therapy help with a variety of learning and medical goals, including:
- Managing Stress
- Alleviating Pain
- Expressing Feelings
- Enhancing Memory
- Improving Communication
Listening to music is an activity that can stimulate the brain, which has great effects on the brain’s health. Music strengthens areas of the brain that manage memory, emotions, learning, movement, and concentration. Researchers found that listening to and playing music increase the body’s production of the cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system’s effectiveness. Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Whenever you are feeling down, uneasy, or unwell try picking up your instrument, songwriting with friends, or listening to music to relieve that tension. Music develops happiness!