It’s no secret that music can be good for the soul. Psychologists testify to the healing properties of listening to music. Some of the perks include:
- Subtle, calming effects on the environment
- An energy boost, depending on the genre and time of day
- Improved sleep patterns
- Calmer driving
- Improved mental capacities
- Reduced anxiety
For those in addiction recovery, music can be therapeutic, helping people through times of loneliness and anxiety that can be part of any journey to sobriety.
Musical Therapy: Yeah, it’s a thing!
The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as an intervention led by licensed professionals who run approved music therapy programs. This type of therapy has enjoyed clinical and evidence-based success, and, best of all, music therapy is versatile. It can help anyone in any situation by doing the following:
- Increasing feelings of well-being and relaxation
- Providing an effective tool for stress and pain management
- Providing an outlet for emotional expression sans verbal communication
- Enhancing memory and cognitive ability
- Assisting in communication
- Promoting physical, mental, and substance abuse rehabilitation
Music Therapy in Action
Great musical minds think alike—well, at least two great minds.
Jhené Aiko, a talented R&B singer and songwriter, and Jimmie Allen, a Grammy-nominated country singer, are adamant that music has healing powers.
In Aiko’s case, her fan mail attests to the healing and transformative power that her music has provided. She says, “The more I study sound and its healing effects, the more I put [the] intention of healing into my music.” That’s when she began to incorporate sound bowls into her songs.
Sound bowls are interesting instruments with the power to:
- Promote relaxation
- Reduce stress
- Balance the body’s energy system
In Allen’s case, music therapy has a bit more scope and can be especially helpful to people who have dealt with traumatic experiences, including American veterans.
Allen launched CreatiVets in 2013. Through the organization, he wanted to bring the art and therapeutic effects of the songwriting process to veterans. Allen knew the power that the process had in his own healing after losing two of his closest friends to suicide. They were both in the army and struggled with depression and trauma. One Iraq combat vet said, “Art and music can save veterans’ lives. It changed me,” when talking about the organization.
Artists that Directly Speak to Addiction, Relapse, and Overcoming Substance Abuse
To use music as a healing tool, the easiest step is to begin listening to it with intention. Find a quiet space, grab a notebook, and listen while feeling free to write your reactions to the lyrics or the thoughts and feelings that they conjure. Below are some cool bands that deal with recovery issues and may provide comfort, clarity, and a chance to disconnect and recharge:
- James Arthur – Arthur is an inspirational artist who acknowledges his addiction to prescription pain pills and marijuana and sings about related obstacles and triumphs.
- P!nk – P!nk has been sober for quite some time and produces art that focuses on her satisfaction and happiness in a sober space.
- Demi Lovato – Like P!nk, Demi Lovato has been through the substance ringer and come out on the other side with music to inspire and promote a sober lifestyle.
- Linkin Park – Linkin Park’s music communicates just how damaging and powerful addiction is. It’s validating for people who have struggled with addiction and reminds them that they’re not alone.
- Eminem – Eminem is an expert in the recovery process and all of its highs and lows. The empathy and raw reality of the transition from dependence to sobriety that he provides is comforting and helps normalize talking about the darker feelings of recovery.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – The band’s lead guitarist, John Frusciante, struggled with an addiction to heroin. His recovery story is nothing short of inspirational, spiritual, and, of course, full of music-induced healing.
If you or a loved one is struggling with issues related to addiction, St. Gregory Recovery Center can help. Our Iowa facility boasts professional, compassionate staff who will create an individualized treatment plan for you using evidence-based techniques and a non-12-step approach. For more information, contact us today.