Benefits of Music Therapy in Mental Health Treatment

If there is one thing that all people universally like – that’s music. We listen to it when we are sad, happy, when we get bored, to have fun, to focus, to relax; we love it. Music is a huge part of our lives, and it is hard to imagine life without it. We have […]

If there is one thing that all people universally like – that’s music. We listen to it when we are sad, happy, when we get bored, to have fun, to focus, to relax; we love it. Music is a huge part of our lives, and it is hard to imagine life without it. We have a strong bond with music. At our Florida mental health treatment center, we recommend using it as a form of therapy. Let’s explore the benefits of music therapy in mental health treatment, how we use it, and why it works.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy uses music to help you manage your emotions and improve your mental health. It involves activities like listening to your favorite songs, trying out instruments, singing, or even creating your own music. A trained music therapist guides these sessions. They create activities for what you need and what you’re comfortable with, all to help you regulate your feelings and behaviour.

Benefits of Music Therapy in Mental Health Treatment banner
What is music therapy? A therapy that improves emotional, cognitive and social aspects of life.

Music has been used for healing for centuries. However, it officially became a therapy form around the time of World War II. They used it to help veterans overcome the traumas of war. Since then, music therapy has evolved. Now, we use it widely to support people dealing with various mental health challenges.

How Does a Music Therapy Session Work?

When you attend a music therapy session, it starts with a chat with your therapist. First, they catch up on how you’re feeling and what’s on your mind. Depending on the day, you might listen to some soothing tunes together or play some instruments. You might even express yourself through singing. Each session is designed to your needs and use music to make you feel better.

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What Are the Benefits of Music Therapy for Mental Health?

Music will do wonders for your mental health. Some music therapy benefits are:

  1. Emotional relief.
  2. Cognitive improvements.
  3. Social interaction and communication.

Emotional Relief

Music therapy gives you a chance to express yourself. You can work through complex emotions using music. It can be hard to express yourself with words sometimes. That’s when you reach for other forms of expression such as music. This usually happens when your feelings are intense and you feel overwhelmed.

If you have mood disorders like bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder, music therapy is good for you because it can stabilize your state of mind. Its effects even increase when you have regular sessions, so you might start to feel calmer and possibly not have mood swings that often.

A person smiling and thinking clearly while having headphones on, which is one of the benefits of music therapy
Music therapy will help you relax and think more clearly.

Cognitive Improvements

It’s no surprise that music is good for your emotions. But did you know that it also sharpens your mind? This is especially beneficial if you are coping with conditions like schizophrenia. Schizophrenia changes how you think and process information. During music therapy, patients practice activities like matching rhythms, recalling melodies, or categorizing sounds. All of them make your brain work in a way to improve its attention, memory, and other cognitive skills.

Social Interaction and Communication

Music therapy also helps you build communication skills. It makes you better at connecting with other people. When you participate in group music sessions, you interact and work together with the others. People create a supportive environment where you can express yourself freely. This way you can build relationships and work on your social skills. This will benefit your daily life long after you recover as well.

Music Therapy in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When you are dealing with both mental health disorders and substance abuse at the same time, it means you have a dual diagnosis. Treatment is more complex when this is the case beacuse both issues influence one another.

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Benefits of Music Therapy for Dual Diagnosis

There are plenty of music therapy benefits if you are dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. That is why some of the best dual diagnosis treatment Florida centers use music everyday. With music, you can:

  • Express yourself better. Sometimes, it’s hard to talk about what you’re feeling. Music therapy gives you a way to express those tough emotions without having to find the right words, making it easier to open up.
  • Reduce your stress. Playing an instrument, singing, or just listening to music can really help bring down your stress levels. This is super important when you’re in recovery, as stress can trigger both mental health struggles and substance use.
  • Manage your anxiety. There’s something about music that just soothes the soul. Music therapy sessions can help you find the sounds that calm your anxiety, offering a peaceful break from the noise in your head.
  • Gain self-esteem. Whether you’re picking up an instrument for the first time or rediscovering an old hobby, music therapy can make you feel good about your skills and yourself. This boost in self-esteem is crucial for recovery.
  • Uplift your mood. Music can lift your spirits and brighten your mood, providing a much-needed boost on tough days. For someone juggling the challenges of dual diagnosis, these positive moments are key to a successfull day.
  • Become emotionally stronger. Regular music therapy can help you develop a tougher emotional armor. This means you’ll be better prepared to face challenges and stress without falling back on old habits.

Complementing Other Treatments

Music therapy works well alongside other treatments for SUD and mental health. We use it to enhance other treatments, just like we use positive affirmations for mental health. For example, it can be integrated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication management, and group therapy. In a music therapy session, you might focus on creating music that reflects personal recovery stories or challenges. Which then reinforces the concepts and coping strategies you are learning in other parts of your treatment. This holistic approach helps address all aspects of both disorders.

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Implementing Music Therapy in Rehabilitation Settings

First, it’s vital to create the right space. It is very important to have a welcoming area with various musical instruments and good soundproofing. This way, patients can make and enjoy music without being interrupted.

Music therapists need to be well-trained and certified. They usually hold a bachelor’s degree in music therapy or a similar field and must be certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). This certification makes sure they know how to blend their musical skills with therapeutic practices in a way that works. Also, they should keep up with new techniques and research.

Integration with Other Rehabilitation Services

When we use music and include it in the broader treatment plan, it makes the rehab program richer. Here is how it can work with other services.

  • Life skills: Music therapy can help develop important life skills. For example, working on a music project can teach patients how to manage their time better and work well with others. These skills are useful in daily life, not just in therapy.
  • Vocational competence: Some music therapy programs might also include business-related skills, like organizing a music event or managing a recording session. These activities encourage responsibility and can improve job prospects.
  • Recovery strategies: Music therapy can help prevent relapse and manage emotions. First, you learn how to practice mindfulness and take care of your mind and soul. Then, therapists might help patients create personal playlists that help soothe or uplift them. They can then use it as a tool to cope with challenges outside of therapy.
A person playing guitar during music therapy
One of the music therapy benefits is a chance to express yourself better.

Patient Demographics and Cultural Considerations

Music therapy isn’t one-size-fits-all; it needs to change depending on who’s in the room. For kids and teens, this might mean using more upbeat and current music, maybe even integrating apps and technology they’re familiar with. For older adults, the approach might involve classic hits that bring back good memories and provide comfort.

Including Culturally Relevant Music

It’s really important for music therapists to choose music that reflects the cultural backgrounds of their patients. Playing music that patients grew up with or that’s meaningful to their heritage can make all the difference. It makes therapy more engaging and can help people connect more deeply with the experience.

For example, incorporating traditional music in sessions for someone from a specific culture can evoke strong feelings and a sense of home. It’s also about respect — understanding the cultural significance behind the music and the lyrics is key to making sure the therapy is effective and sensitive to each person’s background.

Music therapists also sometimes tweak their approach based on cultural norms. In cultures that place a high value on community, group music activities might take center stage, fostering a sense of togetherness.

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How Are Floridians Doing With Mental Health?

As per KFF analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, 2023, nearly one-third of adults have reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression as of early February 2023. This just goes to show that people need extra support to manage their mental health.

If you feel like you need support, reach out. Explore music therapy and get to see how it fits into your life, clear your mind, and enhance your well-being.

A group of people enjoying music during music therapy
Music therapy connects you to other people.

Get Better With Music Therapy

Music therapy lets you express feelings that might be hard to put into words. It gives you a unique way to cope with stress and anxiety. It is great for managing symptoms, but it actually makes your day-to-day life better as well. You will witness the benefits of music therapy when your mood and mental clarity improve. Adding music therapy to your life is a holistic and joyful way of healing.

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Search We Level Up Tamarac FL for Benefits of Music Therapy in Mental Health Treatment Topics & Resources

Dec 13, P. and 2021 (2021). Mental Health and Substance Use State Fact Sheets. [online] KFF. Available at:

CBMT. (2019). [online] Available at: