Music is defined as stringing notes together to create a melody. Like all forms of art, it is up to the listener to decipher its meaning. A piece of music can mean the world to one person, while someone else might find it tasteless and irritating. That is the best thing about art, its subjectivity. For those in recovery from addiction, music can be especially therapeutic because it helps them to connect to emotions and channel energy. Something as simple as someone’s favorite lyrics in a song can remind them that they’re not alone and give them hope that things will get better.
Music Is a Release
Musical frequencies can release energy buildup within the body, as well as internalized emotions. If you’re angry, you can let it out by listening to loud, intense music. You can even sing along, dance, and scream if you need to. On days when you’re feeling sad, you might find yourself connecting to more lyrically emotional music. Carrying around suppressed emotions is destructive to mental health and wellbeing. Doing so can cause severe disturbances that result in unpredictable emotional outbursts. Using music as a way to release emotional and physical tension is a healthy way to cope.
Music Is Inspirational
Music affects our brain chemistry similar to the way that running or doing a cardio workout does. Dopamine is a “feel-good” chemical that is produced and distributed throughout the brain. Listening to music that you love stimulates the release of dopamine, creating a positive mental and emotional response. When you listen to music while working out, the experience is compounded. You have more motivation, allowing you to exercise harder and feel better after a workout. Singing or writing music that you relate to can cultivate a sense of inspiration and connection. However you use it, it’s important to tap into the things that inspire and bring you joy in your recovery. Picking up these tools on good days will make it easier to choose them in your more difficult moments.
Music Tells a Story
Most people have at least one past experience that they would rather forget. Often, people do in fact “forget” these memories, suppressing them deep into their subconscious. Individuals who have suffered various traumas often report blocking them out. The trouble with this is that these traumas live energetically in the body, and can be easily triggered. It’s important to seek therapeutic support as a means of working through trauma and learning to cope with triggers.
Music tells a story. Listening to these stories can help us understand and re-relate to our own internal dialogue and stories. Consequently, music is used in a therapeutic setting as a way to support people in accessing memories and connecting to emotions.
Music is only one of the countless alternative therapeutic modalities available to you as you seek treatment for mental health and/or substance use. Additional options include acupuncture, yoga, animal therapy, art therapy, and outdoor/adventure therapy, just to name a few. At Avalon Malibu, we value a holistic recovery that works on treating the whole person. If you are struggling with mental health and/or addiction and are seeking balance and healing, we are here to help. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.