Music as therapy

On the radio this morning they were advertising a show discussing how music can be used therapeutically.

I think most people naturally enjoy music from a young age. I can remember dancing to Kylie’s ‘The locomotion’ when I was in playgroup! When I got older, I’d learn the lyrics to whole albums and sing along with them over and over. When I left university for good (and simultaneously broke up with my first love), I insisted on listening to a particular CD on the journey home and it left me in floods of tears.

Now I have albums and tracks that I play to match or create specific moods – but how long do these moods last after the music has stopped? Does it matter?

If I listen to an album that makes me happy, does that mean my brain has extra endorphins spinning round, even hours later? How much difference can a song really make?

I’m intrigued by the idea that music could affect your mood – and possibly also your behaviour – beyond the length of the track. And since musical taste is subjective, how do we know which music to choose to promote a specific benefit? Will Slipknot relax some people and make others tense up? Will country music irritate some people but make others want to dance? Will Tibetan throat singing inspire confidence in some, but a murderous rage in others?

What music makes you feel happy and confident?

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