Sipping a cup of black coffee, I slip on my headphones and open Spotify. I explore the application and a world of music opens up at my fingertips. I find myself scrolling through several playlists attempting to find music that fits my current coffee shop environment.
The playlist Morning Acoustic fills my mind.
As the mellow notes fill my mind, I began to think: what benefits does music hold for mental health?
What The Studies Show
It has been noted that when active symptoms of mental illness have been resolved and an individual is deemed “stable”, the trauma of mental illness may continue to reappear over years. As the cost of treatment continues to rise, young adults are in search of a cost-effective means of relief.
In a study conducted by Queens University, a sample of 251 young people with varying mental ailments were split into two groups. 128 participants who received usual care for depression, and 123 who received music therapy in combination with their usual care.
The group of participants who received music therapy found an increase in self-esteem, communicative and interpersonal skills, and a reduction in their depressive symptoms compared to those who only received traditional care. Following the study, researchers found that the group who underwent musical therapy had positive long-term effects.
For those struggling with mental ailments, it is comforting to know that something as simple as music can bring forward a positive benefit.
I finish off the last sip of my coffee and find myself in a state of relaxation. As Fleetwood Mac fills my eardrums it is prevalent how quickly my mood has elevated.
Whether you are battling mental illness or are in search of relaxation, find music that speaks to you and play on.
Source: Holmes V, Porter S, et al. Conference in Riddel Hall at Queen’s University Belfast. 2014