There is more truth to the sentiment that music has healing powers than most people realize. Music has long been used to bring people together and convey feelings. It is used to entertain, to pay tribute to notable people and events, and it is even used to create emotions in people. But music also can be extremely therapeutic for mental health and even those in addiction recovery. According to Alo House the rush of emotion people feel often when listening to music is a release of dopamine into the body. The physical benefits that come from this musical experience include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Stimulates the brain
- Improves memory function
- Improves the use of muscles
These are all important bodily functions that are often impaired as a result of depression and other mental health concerns. For this reason, mental health professionals often embrace a field known as “music therapy” to improve the lives of patients and return certain functions of the mind and body to more functional levels. Kendra Cherry writes for Very Well Mind that studies have shown music to be one of the major factors reported that improved individual mood which leads to better productivity and overall quality of life.
For those that suffer from the grips of addiction, music also can play a considerable role. While addictive substances overload the brain and provide a very euphoric experience, it is artificial and damaging to the body and mind. Similarly to these substances though, music also releases the rush of dopamine to the brain. For this reason, music is often included in addiction recovery programs to provide a more natural high feeling.
It isn’t as simple as just putting on a song and using it as a background track though. Alo House goes on to mention that the process for using music in addiction recovery is used in different ways, but often it involves movement with the music, specific and purposeful meditation along with the music or possibly a correlational interaction with the music by singing along. Ultimately this acts as a replacement source of dopamine to the artificial and more damaging substances.
Those suffering from either mental illness or addiction need an outlet to rid themselves of as much stress as possible. Stress causes significant changes to behavior as identified by The Mayo Clinic. These behavioral changes when under significant stress, can include drug and alcohol abuse. The use of music as an outlet to eliminate as much of this stress as possible provides for a healthy alternative that is both inexpensive and proven effective. It helps to break barriers with people and open them up to different emotional feelings which are healthy for the treatment of both mental illness as well as addiction.
The expressive and creative nature of music provides a number of immeasurable opportunities to improve the lives of everyone but most especially those struggling with mental health and addiction. It gives people an outlet and a chance to rid themselves of stress while experiencing a natural rush of dopamine all without harming their bodies. Contact us to discuss the different ways we can assist you with your addiction recovery.