Music and mental problems

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Music and mental problems

Music and art play such a central role in society.

In many cases, people have used music as for soothing, and even entertainment. In some recent research, there has emerged evidence that music use is not only limited to human beings but might also play an essential role in plants (Flemming). However, the primary concern is on the part of music in the brain. According to research by Fleming, music engages many neural regions in the brain, and there is evidence that it can shape and alter how the brain functions. Of much concern in this study is the role that music can play in therapy. There is much evidence that supports the idea of using music as a health therapy (Flemming). While there might not be an agreement on the impact that it might have on health, music might help in dealing with various health conditions.

Evidence from Research reveals the impact that music might have on different mental health issues that include trauma depression schizophrenia and many others. The role of music in these processes is that it acts as a medium that can help in dealing with trauma and grief (Gallego, and J. Gómez García 307). Besides, music can have an essential role in regulating and calming agent for dysregulation or anxiety. Experts have suggested four major interventions that music therapy might be used in dealing with health conditions.

Lyric treatment

Music can be applied in therapy in the form of lyric treatment. It is common for the therapist to allow a person to talk about the topics that may be hard to discuss in ordinary situations; the lyric analysis helps a person to process deep emotions less threateningly. Through the investigation, the person is given a chance to provide insights, alternative lyric, and themes that can be applied to the obstacles that they are experiencing. Often there are songs or a song that one would often feel they connect to better (Gallego, and Gómez García). Therefore, through the lyrical analysis one is given a chance to identify the song or lyrics that relates closely to the experiences that they have. In these ways, music is playing an essential role in dealing with deep-seated feelings that individuals may have.

Improvising music

Another way that music is related to the mind is through improvising music playing. Playing of music instruments encourages the socialisation, exploration of diverse therapeutic themes and emotional expression. For instance, individual and groups can create a storm through the playing of thunder tubes, drums rain sticks, and other percussive instruments. The individual and groups might note the areas of escalation and de-escalation in the improvising, and through this way, the individuals might get an idea of discussing their feelings more thoroughly. The approach thus offers an easy way for people to process and deal with deep-seated fears and emotions that might be hard to deal with in ordinary circumstances.

Actively listening to music

Active music listening is also another approach that might be used to deal with mental problems. Music can play an essential role in mood regulation. The rhythmic and the repetitive aspects of music have a necessary role in engaging the neocortex part of the brain and in that way helping to reduce impulsivity. In most cases, individuals use music to match or alter their mood (Gross and Musgrave). While matching music with an individual’s attitude might be beneficial in some cases, it might lead to one getting stuck in an angry or depressive state. To change the mood a person, a therapist might play the music that currently matches the mental state of the individual but slowly shifts to a more calm and confident nation. Through the process of changing the mood, it is easier for the person to transition from sad feelings and slowly starts experiencing some relief. In this case, it is evident that music can play the role of both making the person stay in a depressive situation and at the same time get this person out of those depressing moments. The clear evidence that emerges here is that music has a close relationship with the feelings that an individual might be experiencing. They are not only limited to solving the mood problem, but it might also escalate the issue.


Lastly, music can be able in dealing with people’s emotion through the process of songwriting. Songwriting helps an individual to express their thoughts and feelings through a positive and rewarding manner. One can always write lyrics that reflect the emotions that are within them and at the same time select the instrument and sounds that can match up with the feelings within the lyrics. The process can be validating and in the process help to build an individual’s self-esteem (Daykin, Norma, et al. 950). Through the process of listening to their composition, an individual might start experiencing a sense of self-pride. Therefore, there is an important role that songwriting can be applicable in dealing with deep-seated emotions that individuals might be experiencing. In listening to some song, it is common to find people talking about the feeling they had when they lost a loved one or the thoughts they have about an issue. In writing some of these songs, these people would often say they were going through sad moments. They thus wrote the song in reflection to the moments that they were going through. And indeed, when one listens to those songs, they would often identify with those emotions that were running through the music.

It is evident that music has a close relationship with the emotions that an individual might be experiencing. By understanding the role that music plays in dealing with these emotions it becomes evident that music can play an essential role in dealing with any mental challenges that an individual might experience. The idea that music can soothe a person or help them process their deep-seated fear highlights the fact that music is critical in dealing with mental problems (Rickert, 436). The idea of using music to deal with these issues does not seem new since even in the ancient literature there are cases where music was used to deal with mental problems. Such a situation in ancient literature includes the Bible story of King Saul. Anytime that Saul will feel possessed, David would come and play a musical instrument that would eventually calm soul. Therefore, music and therapy do not seem to be a new concept in society.

There is evidence that provides a relationship between music and the mind. The various ways in which music is used in therapy all points to the idea that they impact the mind. These approaches, such as lyrical analysis, playing instrument and songwriting all reflect the use of different parts of the brain. It is clear that the processes alter the way the brain is processing emotions and in that way help the individual to deal with the problems that they have. Therefore, music is such an essential way of dealing with emotional challenges.



Works Cited

Allison, Theresa A., Daniel B. Reed, and Judah M. Cohen. “Toward Common Cause: Music, Team Science, and Global Health.” Journal of Folklore Research 54.1-2 (2017): 1-13.

Daykin, Norma, et al. “Music‐making for health and wellbeing in youth justice settings: mediated affordances and the impact of context and social relations.” Sociology of health & illness39.6 (2017): 941-958.

Flemming, Rennee. “Music and the Mind « Renée Fleming.” N.p., 2019. Web. 22 Mar. 2019.

Gallego, M. Gómez, and J. Gómez García. “Music therapy and Alzheimer’s disease: Cognitive, psychological, and behavioural effects.” Neurología (English Edition) 32.5 (2017): 300-308.

Gross, S., and George Musgrave. “Can Music Make You Sick Part 1? A Study Into The Incidence of Musicians’ Mental Health.” (2016).

Rickert, Dale LL, Margaret S. Barrett, and Bronwen J. Ackermann. “Are music students fit to play? A case study of health awareness and injury attitudes amongst tertiary student cellists.” International Journal of Music Education 33.4 (2015): 426-441.