Music & Mood 

 June 20, 2021

By  counselingwithnatalie

Music is a powerful tool when it comes to expressing and influencing emotions. Both creating and listening to music can boost someone’s mood, be soothing on anxiety, and help someone get through times of grief, stress, or sadness. Music therapy is a specific type of therapy that uses music to help improve mood and to help someone cope after a negative or traumatic experience, but anyone can reap the benefits of music.

Creative Outlet
Music is a form of art, both creating and listening to music can be used as a form of self-expression. It can be useful to create playlists based on moods (happy, angry, sad, etc) and listen to them as a way to enhance or release emotions. Even listening to sad songs can release negative emotions and help someone feel better. Playing an instrument or writing songs can also help release, process, and accept emotions like stress or grief. Creating music can also help someone understand their own situation better and help communicate their feelings and situations to others without necessarily needing to use words.

Mood Booster
Music can be used to boost someone’s mood. Fast, upbeat songs can get someone feeling “pumped up” and more positive and carefree. Uplifting, feel-good songs can instill feelings of hope and happiness in someone. Fast-paced and feel-good songs can also release endorphins which leads to feelings of euphoria, further improving someone’s mood.

Anxiety Soother
Music can help someone relax, aid in insomnia, and alleviate stress. Listening to calming music can help slow a racing heart, soothe an upset stomach, calm nervous fidgeting, and just help promote relaxation in general. Both listening to and creating music can be an outlet for stress relief and the release of endorphins can further promote stress relief and calm feelings.

Music can also be used as a temporary distraction when feeling overwhelmed and it can help someone tune out the world for a bit until they’re ready to face it again. Sometimes putting on headphones and ignoring the outside world for a bit can be beneficial and you can avoid hearing negative things or having negative experiences. However, it is important to be careful that this doesn’t turn into avoidance coping and that trying to escape others, problems, and the world forever is not a good coping skill and eventually creates additional stress.

Connect with Others
Music can bring people together and make people feel closer to one another. Concerts, choir groups, dances, and performances are all ways for people to come together and connect. Even simply sharing playlists with a friend or listening to songs together is a way to become more connected and strengthen relationships. Connecting with others and strengthening existing relationships is beneficial for mental health, helps with mood and stability, and reduces stress, sadness, and loneliness. Music has many therapeutic benefits and can help improve mental health in many ways. It can act as a creative outlet to release negative emotions, boost mood, alleviate anxiety, and bring people closer together. So the next time you feel sad, stressed, or lonely, considering putting on your headphones and turning up your favorite playlist.

by Samantha Srichal, Content Contributor

6 Benefits of Music for your Mental Health. (2018). Palladium Private.

Ryblack, R. Music’s Power Explained. (2016). Psychology Today.

Scott, E. Avoidance Coping and Why it Creates Additional Stress. (2021). Verywell

Van Edwards, V. The Benefits of Music: How the Science of Music Can Help You. (n.d.)
Science of People.

Wong, C. What is Music Therapy? (2021). Verywell Mind.


Anxiety, counseling, Therapy

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