When it comes to substance abuse, there are plenty of treatment options out there. One option that has been rising in popularity with proven benefits is the use of music therapy. We’re going to break down all of the ways music therapy can help you overcome substance abuse and work your way toward recovery.
What Is Music Therapy?
First and foremost, let’s navigate what music therapy is. Music therapy is a type of therapy just like talk cognitive or talk behavior. It is a holistic approach using the good feelings that come naturally from music and using them to help heal someone mentally, and thus physically and emotionally.
The way in which this is done can include listening to or making music and related activities such as dancing or singing. With this form of therapy, a person may be able to help manage their mental health, including disorders like depression and anxiety, both of which can be triggers for substance abuse.
So what are the exact benefits? Read on to find out!
1. Alleviates Depression
Depression can make a person experience extreme lows. When this happens to a person with a history of substance abuse, the lows can trigger a relapse as individuals hope to cope with their feelings.
Music improves moods, even when just experienced recreationally and as a general part of life. If someone is looking to keep their moods at bay and help to prevent swings that result in substance abuse, music therapy may be the perfect tool. In the case of making music, it may be the perfect distraction and therapeutic process to help navigate the recovery process.
2. Pain Relief
Something that impacts everyone’s life, either sparingly or chronically, is pain. Navigating pain can be very difficult, especially if someone has a history of substance abuse.
This is because you can’t always turn to the same medications to cope with pain as someone without a history of substance abuse. Instead, you’ll need to find alternatives that help to provide relief, one of which may be music therapy.
Because music can calm a person down, listening to music may help to soothe any potential triggers.
3. Soothes Anxiety
Similar to depression, anxiety can severely impact one’s ability to work through the grueling recovery process. Mental health is integral in the recovery process and without a clear mind, one might find it hard to focus on what matters, their sobriety.
Music is a great tool to provide calmness for those suffering from anxious thoughts and feelings. For help with anxiety, either making or listening to music may help a person to feel less anxious.
The goal of feeling less anxious is that a person will not be tempted to turn to substances to calm themselves.
If you’re working on learning a new instrument, making yourself practice daily can be a great way to increase your willpower. When it comes to substance abuse, willpower is one of the most important skills to possess.
Not only will the music and learning process act as a form of self-care and help improve your overall well-being, but the practice itself will also help strengthen your ability to say “yes, “no,” and to keep trying and moving forward. These are immeasurable skills when it comes to recovery!
How to Implement Music Therapy
Music therapy is an adaptable form of therapy that can be done with the help of a professional or solo. Either way, the benefits can be evident both immediately and over time.
There is no single place to partake in music therapy and no single way, which makes it a special approach. Whether you choose to work with a music therapist to help stay on track or you use music to boost your mood to avoid triggers, it can be as easy or complex as you want.
There are many treatment options out there for substance abuse recovery, but few are as available and natural as music. Implementing music therapy into your recovery routine may keep the chance of triggers low and help to keep your overall mood stable. If you think music therapy could work for you, be sure to speak with your treatment team for information on how to navigate the treatment.