Music is something that most people enjoy. Some say it’s a common language that speaks to the hearts of all types of people. Regardless of the music genre, people can feel deep emotion while listening to music, which science says can be therapeutic.
Music therapy is used by mental health clinicians to help people heal emotional, mental, and physical problems. Through the context of singing, dancing, or simply listening to various types of music, clients are able to feel and integrate emotions that have been stuck in their energetic body.
Music therapy can be a beneficial tool for addiction recovery. It can help you get more in touch with yourself at an emotional level. It can also be used to help you understand yourself better. Combining music therapy with other addiction treatment modalities can foster deeper healing and build a stronger sobriety foundation.
Using music therapy, you may be asked to discuss what your favourite kinds of music do for you.
Some treatment centres and addiction therapists use music therapy as part of their weekly therapy to foster sobriety and well-being. They may listen to music and journal about what they’re feeling. Or they may listen to music and move to it. This could be in dance form or simply moving as you feel led.
They may also encourage singing, playing an instrument, or writing songs. Each person will be able to discover how music could be beneficial for their recovery and life.
The following explains more in detail how music therapy may be used in addiction recovery:
You’re likely to know some songs that have helped you out in life. Maybe they help you when you’re feeling down. They help you feel less alone or give you hope. You may have other songs or genres that help you feel excited and joyful.
Lyrics can be powerful. In recovery using music, lyrics can be analyzed to see what it is about the words that bring you the emotions you feel. Why is it that a sad song might make you feel better when you’re down? What specific songs are impacting your life right now as you journey your recovery path?
Start paying attention to the lyrics in the music you’re currently listening to. Do a bit of analyzing on your own and see what you come up with. Is the music you’re listening to helping or hurting your recovery?
You can use the power of the pen in writing songs that may aid you in your recovery. Whether you’re creative or not, writing a song can help you express yourself. And, expressing yourself can often help you let out some pent-up energy, which can feel good.
Your song can be about recovery, or it can be about something else. If you’ve got an instrument, you can even put the lyrics to music. This is a great way to continue your self-discovery journey.
Karaoke is a great way to use music for self-expression and to have some fun. What’s great about karaoke is no one is expecting you to be a professional singer. You don’t have to worry about hitting all the right notes. Just have fun!
Anxiety is usually what holds people back from singing karaoke. The next time you’ve got the chance to sing, try to break through that anxiety and give it a try. Be gentle with yourself. Part of accepting yourself is realizing that the only opinion of yourself that matters is yours.
Besides, most people are accepting when it comes to watching people sing karaoke. After all, most can empathize with the courage it takes to get up there and sing!
Do you think you’d like to play an instrument? Maybe it’s time to try. From the guitar to drums to violin to piano – there are dozens of instruments you can try out. Try out several to see what you enjoy playing. You might even want to take lessons for the instrument you enjoy the most.
Dancing is therapy. You’ve likely heard that saying, “Dance like no one is watching”. It’s when you dance that way that feels the best; when you’re not feeling inhibited and free as a bird. Dance is actually a wonderful therapy for recovery. You can move a lot of stale, pent-up, or blocked emotions by getting busy on the dance floor.
You don’t have to go out dancing either. Just put on some music in your home and get moving. Notice how it feels to let go and move to the rhythm without feeling limited or judged. Go ahead and lose yourself in the movement and moment.
Addiction can rewire the brain to have a bent toward more of your drug of choice. Music therapy can help reverse or rewire the brain for better things. Music can help your senses become amped, helping you become more mindful. Being mindful, or in the present moment, can help you think less about your past or future and just enjoy the now.
When you consistently listen to music that moves you emotionally, you are allowing your body to move energy. Remember that emotion means “energy in motion”. Sometimes people that become addicted to something have a tough time feeling emotion. They feel numb or disconnected emotionally.
Listening to music can help them feel emotions again and start re-connected the brain and heart. Even if the music makes them cry, those tears can be a form of release. That release can make you feel ten times lighter.
Start paying more attention to the kind of music you’re listening to. What emotions does it evoke? One thing music can do that could be a recovery deterrent is bring you back to times in the past that weren’t so great. Or it could be a trigger to times when you were drinking, drugging, or partying.
You’ll want to stay away from that kind of music as you continue to build your recovery foundation. That’s not to say you’ll never be able to listen to it again – just perhaps not right now.
Focus on the kind of music that elicits better feelings. Use music as therapy regularly as you continue bettering your life, helping you discover more about yourself, others, and recovery.