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Music Can Heal Your Brain

On this page, I would like to share with you an important tool I have found to lift my mood--listening to music. Music has been used as a healing force for centuries and goes back to biblical times, when the musician David played the harp to rid King Saul of emotional lows. As early as 400 B.C.E., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his patients with mental disorders. A well known phrases that says, "Music has charms to soothe a savage beast.”

For those of us suffering from depression and anxiety, music can soothe and bring healing to the brain. For example, when music follows a slow rhythm of sixty to seventy beats per second, it can calm the brain and nervous system. On the other hand, a rousing symphony or a good old rock and roll song can get one renewed and energized.

So let me tell you how I use music as part of my mental health recovery. In the mornings, I usually wake up with something called “brain fog” that perhaps many readers can relate to. I do not leap out of bed and exclaim, “I am so happy to meet the bright new day.” Instead I feel lethargic and mildly depressed.

To help myself get out of this funk, I reach for my iPod and play inspiring pop hit by Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now.”

“I Can See Clearly Now” is just the first track in a playlist that I created for myself called “Depression Busters.” It includes songs from the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and the Moody Blues. As each track plays, I feel a little more awake, energized and hopeful for the day to come. By the time the album is over, my inner sun has come out and has burned off the brain fog, leaving my mind relatively clear.

My situation is not unique. Music therapy is used all over the world to help heal individuals with physical and emotional disorders. Music therapy as we know it began in the aftermath of World Wars I and II when musicians in Great Britain traveled to hospitals and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma. Today, you can get a masters degree in music therapy and use it in a variety of setting such as hospitals, psychiatric clinics, hospice and physical rehab clinics.


To bring the healing power of music into your life, ask yourself, "What kind of music makes me feel better?" Make a catalog of your favorite musical tunes, noting which ones are relaxing and which can be used for inspiration. You can create a playlist on your iPod, smart phone, or mp3 player and listen to it as a mood enhancer. Soon, music will be become an indispensable part of your wellness program.


I hope this information has been helpful to you. I wish you the best in your mental health recovery.

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