Can Music Help Battle Depression?

According to an article by the University of Nevada, a study claimed that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. They noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and makes it an easy stress reduction tool.

I wholeheartedly believe music has this effect on those who suffer from not only stress but depression, as well. I can recall a few times where listening to music, particularly music from back in the day, would lift my mood swings that causes depression. Moments during my music therapy,  I am taken to a special place mentally and emotionally, and is reminiscent of my past; good memories from my past embeds my mind and for at least 4 minutes, I am not thinking about what makes me mad, sad, or stressed.

Do you experience this as well?

According to Everyday Health,  music therapy originated in the 1940s after World War II. Thousands of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were institutionalized, unable to function in society. Community musicians began to visit veteran hospitals to play for those suffering from physical and emotional trauma. Nurses and doctors noted the positive physical and emotional response—how the hymns and melodies reached patients in ways that traditional therapies were unable to — and began to hire musicians for the hospitals.

How Does Music Therapy Work?

In music therapy, a therapist uses music to address physical, emotional, and social needs of an individual. Listening and creating music within a therapeutic context allows individuals to express themselves in nonverbal ways. The interplay of melody, harmony, and rhythm stimulate the senses of a person and promote calmness by slowing down the breath, heart rate, and other bodily functions. Musical engagement, especially when combined with talk therapy, boosts levels of the hormone dopamine, which plays a role in the reward-motivation behavior. The kind of music used is usually tailored to the needs of the patient. It is common to employ several combinations of music.

 

It’s no surprise how upbeat we feel after listening to our favorite music. Music is therapy for the soul and the spirit. Depression is a serious thing, so I urge you to please go talk to someone or reach out for help, despite how difficult it may be to reach out. Until then, turn on some smooth jazz, Anita Baker, Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, or something that you personally enjoy in your playlist.

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