Healing Harmonies: Can Music Be Used as a Coping Mechanism?

From K-Pop to R&B, music is a universal language that we are all familiar with.  After a long day of classes or a fight with your family, sometimes turning on your favorite artist and getting lost in the melodies, stepping away from reality for a bit, is what we need to get us back on our feet.  Whether you use music to cope with stress, trauma, or minor inconveniences, we use music as a form of therapy even when we don’t realize it. 

When asked about how he utilizes music as therapy in not only listening but creating music as well, Gurjot Singh, a senior at TAEHS stated, “When things are really getting to me I turn to music just to take my mind off of things and it helps me to put things into perspective rather than feeling an endless amount of pain or confusion.”.  Sometimes the artists we love the most are those who have a beautiful way with words, somehow capturing every emotion we are feeling and making a song about it before we even get to that moment.  

Photo credit: https://adahome.care/music-therapy-in-alzheimer-and-dementia/

“I think that music has this universal aspect which no matter who or from what generation a person listens to a song it will always invoke something, meaning it has the power to influence.“, said Singh.  Music has been used throughout generations as forms of encouragement, a symbolism of power, and a cry for help.  For example, the use of music was important to the civil rights movement, where it was used as a way to bring everyone together in a time of distress and passion, and served to commemorate the hardships and turning points.  In times of grief and resilience, music is used by everyone to cope and reflect, prompting us to get back on our feet and provide a calmness to our mental state, even if it is for a short while. 

Simply looking at our school community during the 2020 lockdown can tell you a lot about the connections between music and our mental health.  Many students have shared playlists with their class, started hosting weekly music related Zoom calls, and discovered genres they never would have imagined seeking comfort in. 

It is important to note that despite music being a valid method of coping, it should not replace actual music therapy or other forms of therapy presented by real medical professionals.  Music therapists are licensed health care professionals who provide treatment plans for their patients through singing, instruments, and discovering new music.  We all have our respective self therapies, but it is important to seek professional help if you are able to.  

Taking all this into account, you might want to reflect on your relationship with music and how it might be the single thing keeping you upright when the world is getting you down. What music do you connect with the most? What songs do you attach to particular memories? 

Mashal Burney

Hi there! I’m Mashal. Nice to meet you! I love to spend my days reading fantasy novels, writing, or listening to music. I plan to carry my passion of writing with me for as long as I can, as I love to spill my heart out on paper and excite others with my stories.