Tuning into your mental health

Over the years the benefits of music have been a popular area of research, so what does it say about mental health? Many studies suggest music can affect mood, behaviour and reduce the negative impacts of anxiety and depression.

There are various theories on why this is – memories linking to sounds, brain chemical stimulation, binaural beats mimicking heart rates, sound being a tool of mindfulness and this is just to name a few!

So how can this benefit you?

Expressing yourself

Creating your own playlist of songs can be a great tool to help you set the mood or build your motivation. Some people might find it useful to create multiple playlists of songs for different occasions or just to allow them 30 minutes of ‘me time’.

Singing in the car

Yes! Believe it or not singing in your car can be good for your mental health. Singing in a judgement free zone where you don’t have to tone it down encourages your body to breathe and relax. Being able to focus on singing lets your mind shift focus!

Bring it to therapy

Sometimes it can be hard to explain your thoughts and emotions. Some people find it useful to use music as a way to start conversations or create meaning about events, situations or people. You might even find yourself listening to new music and finding it ‘hits home’ or brings up some unexpected feelings you want to talk about.

Singing and/or making music with others

For some this is a daunting concept however singing or playing an instrument with others can be a great way to feel connected to others, socialise and develop a hobby. When you are singing and/or creating music with others you have to work together to get the music flowing! Secondly, having a specific activity can make socialising a little easier because you have a focus and can take breaks from talking!

Reference List

Psychosocial singing interventions for the mental health and well-being of family carers of patients with cancer: results from a longitudinal controlled study By Daisy Fancourt, Katey Warran, Saoirse Finn, Theresa Wiseman

How to deal with the negative psychological impact of COVID-19 for people who pay attention to anxiety and depression by Fenfen GeMengtong WanAnni Zheng, and Jun Zhang

Music, mental health, and immunity by Lavinia Rebecchini

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