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How Music Therapy Can Promote Recovery

It’s often said that music is food for the soul. Music has the power to reduce stress, calm a person’s nerves and even spur creativity. And music is one of the easiest ways for people to connect–regardless of culture. That’s why music therapy for recovery is so powerful–it is cathartic and healing for teens on their journey to recovery.

What Is Music Therapy?

Since music can transform listeners’ moods, it only makes sense that music would be used as part of therapy. Music therapy is typically used in clinical settings to enhance teens’ mental health. Teen music therapy can be used in individual and group therapy sessions. During music therapy sessions, teens will:

  • Listen to music
  • Analyze lyrics
  • Have conversations about music
  • Write songs
  • Participate in music improvisation
  • Play various instruments
  • Sing songs
  • Perform for their peers (if they want to participate)

The Benefits of a Teen Music Therapy Program

A recent research review of music therapy found that it had the power to help teens overcome chronic depression. Music therapy for recovery provides teens with a positive, creative outlet. They can build a strong identity of themselves focused on who they can become versus their past choices. Teens involved in music therapy will also be discovering a new interest and perhaps even a greater talent that needs to be further nurtured. Music therapy can become a coping strategy for teens who need to find a way to navigate the triggers that led them to use alcohol or drugs. Here are some benefits to participating in a teen music therapy program:

Reduce stress in teens and concentrate on remaining calm

One of the reasons teens use substances is to help manage their stress levels. And although the recovery period is necessary, it is not always easy. During the recovery period, teens will face cravings and withdrawal symptoms, increasing stress levels. Music can support stress reduction and help teens refocus their energy on remaining calm.

An Introduction to Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are some of people’s greatest strategies to remain sober. Mindfulness practices such as meditation require people to be purposeful in their actions, a concept especially important for anyone looking to end their reliance on substances such as drugs or alcohol. Music can relax teens’ moods, making it helpful to use with meditation.

Lessen Feelings of Loneliness

It is not uncommon for teens to feel a sense of loneliness–especially early in the recovery period. And for teens dealing with anxiety and depression, loneliness is an ever-present feeling. When teens are away from their family and friends, they need to feel connected to others. Music therapy can support teens in making new friends while in treatment, which will further help them remain on the path to recovery. Working with their peers, teens can participate in activities such as songwriting or using musical instruments. These activities help teens collaborate with others and work toward a common goal.

Decrease Boredom and Enhance Mood

Recovery is not easy to navigate. It is an overwhelming experience to confront your triggers and learn new ways to cope. There is the urge to use drugs again or participate in harmful behaviors–especially when teens try to find something to fill their time. Participating in music therapy–listening, creating, and even understanding the purpose of music–can help teens feel fulfilled.

Manage Emotions

A teen’s ability to express their emotions is not always easy. For some, it is easier to keep quiet and cope by using drugs or alcohol. For others, they lash out or harm themselves. Music therapy is a great way for teens to learn how to communicate. In a music therapy program, teens will write and perform music that expresses their deepest feelings.

Discover Therapeutic Services at Destinations for Teens

Music therapy for recovery from substance use disorder is a great way for teens to fight loneliness and express their emotions. Music therapy is a great component of addiction treatment because it will help teens relax and learn to work with their peers who are also on the road to recovery. In addition to music therapy, Destinations for Teens offers other therapeutic services such as art, dance/movement, mindfulness, and yoga. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to learn how these services support your teen’s addiction treatment.