Music and Depression: 5 Reasons Why Music Can Help You

Excerpts from Nature Sound Retreat

Classical, soft, ambient and even instrumental music is known to be an effective antidepressant in people suffering from depression. It should also be noted that listening to heavy metal and rock music is not advised if you suffer from depression as it can have the opposite effect.

Music therapy has been used to promote emotional health and help patients cope with depression anxiety and stress. Research suggests that music can provide pleasure, contentment, entertainment and also some psychological benefits. Music influences your feelings, thoughts and behaviours as well. Some people get excited, pumped or even moved to tears by listening to their favourite music. The following are some of the effects of music on your mental health.

  • Music elevates your mood and motivation
  • Music improves your focus
  • Music reduces your stress level
  • Music induces relaxation
  • Music helps to bring down anxiety and depression

General symptoms of depression are:

  • Persistent sad and anxious mood
  • Irritability
  • Lack of energy and increased fatigue
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Problems with sleeping such as waking up very early in the morning or oversleeping
  • Difficulty in concentrating and remembering things
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Feelings of loneliness and pessimism
  • Suicidal thoughts

Several factors which might lead to depression include:

  • Genetics and biology
  • Circadian rhythm disturbance
  • Brain chemistry imbalance
  • Physical health problems
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stressful life events
  • Drugs
  • Grief and loss

Here are some of the risks of depression:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Developing a serious or chronic illness
  • Lack of social support
  • Increased consumption of alcohol and drugs
  • Experiencing mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or anxiety
  • Seclusion of oneself away from family and friends

How does music help with depression?

1. Music increases happiness

It only takes 15 minutes of listening to your favorite tunes to get a natural high. This is because your brain releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that ultimately leads to increased feelings of excitement, joy and happiness when you listen to music that you enjoy.

2. Music decreases stress while increasing overall health

Music has a direct effect on our hormones. When you listen to music that you like, it decreases levels of the hormone cortisol in your body, combating the effects of chronic stress. Stress is believed to cause 60% of all diseases and illnesses. So lower stress levels mean higher chances of overall well-being.

3. Music reduces depression

Music can also be considered a natural antidepressant. This is because certain tunes cause the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain and ultimately lead to heightened feelings of happiness and well-being. It also releases norepinephrine which is a hormone that invokes feelings of euphoria.

4. Music improves sleep

A study shows that listening to classical music approximately an hour before going to bed improves your sleep significantly. Since music influences our hormones, it only makes sense to throw on some Beethoven before bed when in need of a good night’s rest.

5. Music Keeps your brain healthy

Music is also known to keep your brain healthy in old age, and ultimately, sound works as a therapy for various different types of diseases and ailments.

Music Therapy Resources to help you

Click on the images below to access these audio resources

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