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Music and Mental Health

Music is a very powerful tool. It can take someone back to an exact moment in their life, can give an individual the motivation to finish the last mile of the 5K they’re running, or calm someone down when they are facing a large amount of stress. The list goes on and on as to what all music can do. There are also numerous benefits as to what music can do mentally for individuals.

Music has the power to help improve cognitive performance. One way this can be done is by listening to music while completing a task. Research shows that music, specifically classical music, increases focus. So, if someone is attempting to get something done it might be beneficial for them to turn on some background music. Music also can help reduce stress. For many people, music is a way they can cope with stressful situations. It depends on each person, but for some people by either playing music or simply listening to music they have reported having lower stress levels. Music can also improve an individual’s mood overall. Research has shown that people who listen to music are able to have a better mood and become more self-aware.

Alongside all these positive effects, music also has the potential to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. One way this can be done is through music therapy. There are different interventions which are involved with music therapy, but they all serve as a venue to express emotions and grief. If an individual does music therapy, it is going to vary from person to person as to which one works for them, just like in regular therapy. The four most commonly known interventions are: lyric analysis, improvisation music playing, active music listening, and songwriting. In each of these, individuals can use music as a soothing and/or regulating tool to help with a variety of mental illnesses.

Whether used in therapy or in everyday life, music can serve as a positive and powerful tool for the benefit of everyone’s mental health.


Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profits organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.