Whether you create an upbeat playlist for the gym or seek solace in your favorite ballads after a tough day, you know that music can affect your mood. For individuals dealing with a mental health issue, such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, music therapy can provide a valuable emotional outlet and a calming effect. If you're looking for a hands-on approach to mental health, this guide can help you incorporate music into your treatment plan.

Are There Different Types of Music Therapy?

Therapists customize mental health treatments to suit the needs of each individual, so they might suggest songwriting to encourage patients to process their feelings. Songwriting helps people think and talk about past relationships and experiences to better understand how both have contributed to their current mental state. People who are already musically inclined might put their lyrics to a melody or feel inspired to learn an instrument so they can complete the song. 


Music therapy can also involve lyrical analysis and active listening. Reading and interpreting lyrics can help people identify artists who have had similar thoughts and experiences or teach them to find personally meaningful, uplifting messages in songs. Active listening can shift mental states from negative to positive through the gradual introduction of more upbeat songs; the practice starts by matching mood and music and transitioning to calmer, more positive selections to guide a similar emotional progression.

What Are the Advantages of This Treatment Option?

Music therapy can help produce a happier mindset and reduce stress, and these changes are often noticeable within a two-week period. You can use beloved songs to identify and communicate when you're feeling down or process your current emotions, allowing you to connect with others and feel better understood. Introducing more upbeat songs can also leave you feeling more cheerful and motivated. 

Taking on a creative pursuit, such as writing and interpreting lyrics and jamming with other musicians, can also help increase confidence and encourage healthy relationships. Even dancing has mental health benefits because the energetic movement floods the brain with endorphins, which increase euphoric feelings. If stress and anxiety keep you awake at night, drifting off to a soothing classical selection can help you achieve a better night's sleep. 


If you're interested in trying music therapy, contact Gavia LifeCare Center. The mental health center serves the Rochester, NY, area, including Greece, Spencerport, and Churchville. They provide a variety of counseling and treatment options for adults to ensure everyone receives highly personalized care. Call (585) 371-6464 or send a message online to schedule an appointment within 48 hours.