How Does Music Therapy Help Recovery From Addiction?

Music therapy is growing in popularity as a creative therapy during treatment for addiction and alcoholism.

Music can create a better mood

Music therapy isn’t as unique as we think it is. We receive music therapy more often than we are aware. When we get in an elevator and there’s music- that’s music therapy. When we are put on hold and are treated to some musical jingle or perhaps the radio- that’s also music therapy. Music creates an ambience- a mood or atmosphere for the current situation. Music therapy can set the tone for a session during treatment because music has moods. Music is often categorized by mood: sad music, happy music, “chill” music, angry music, zen music.

Music is a tool for accessing memories

The brain has an overwhelming ability to maintain an extensive library of lyrics. After not hearing a song or rehearsing lyrics for years at a time, as soon as the brain hears a song or starts to think of a song, the entire set of lyrics can come back in a flash. Music connects us to specific points in our life. When we hear a song that has meaning to us, it can take us back in time and help us remember. Typically, our sensory recall is strong- we remember what we were wearing, how we felt, the weather, the smell in the air, and more.
Music also has a unique ability to access emotional memories. Classical music like symphonies, and operas do not have lyrics. They convey emotion through sound, movement, and structure. These musical moments can connect us to ways we have felt in the past. When we work with music therapists in treatment, we can be guided through our music listening experience to touch on certain emotions. Music therapy offers us the opportunity to learn from the experience of the musician, the artist, or the composer to understand what they were putting into a song to try to convey.

Music can have lyrics which convey life experiences

Lyrics can make a song have a completely different meaning than what we interpret from the music. Music therapists can use the lyrics of a song to help guide the therapeutic process in other areas of treatment. Many musicians have personally struggled with depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, addiction, alcoholism, and other mental health issues. Listening to their songs in a healthy way helps us know that we are not alone and we can be understood.

Oceanfront Recovery offer’s music therapy as part of a solution-focused residential treatment program for men. We believe that when you change your story, you can change your life. Each day we are helping men & women rewrite the story of their lives from addiction to recovery. For information on our programs, call us today: 877.279.1777