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The Power of Music

Music and EmotionsI’ve known the lows of depression, I’ve known the terror of delusions and paranoia and I’ve known the itchiness of anxiety. In every instance, I know I need to calm down. Most times this means going home pulling the covers up and putting on soft music. I do it so much that it’s become something completely natural. Feeling bad? Put on music. It’s almost automatic and because of that I’ve started to take this simple technique for granted.

Music is something magical. It’s salve for all of life’s emotional wounds and I would be remiss in talking about coping techniques if I didn’t talk about music.

The crazy thing about music is that there’s so much out there that there’s literally something for every mood imaginable. There’s music to calm you down, there’s music to put you in an ethereal state, there’s music to pump you up and there’s music that simply serves to take away silence.

Everyone has a favorite song or artist and it’s no surprise that liking the same music can be both a topic of conversation and a tool for connection. Personalities can even be determined by the types of music people listen to. Think about it, there are classical people, there are artsy/indie people, there are hard rock people, there are alternative people, and there are country people. There are so many facets of personalization that come from music that it’s no surprise that music can be as contentious as politics or religion. It’s different for everybody.

Some people like to get amped up; some people like to quiet down. For me, I like calm music, I like music that can soothe the wounds of schizophrenia and take me out of myself for a small time. I’m not afraid to admit that I have a playlist on my computer called “The Sads.” I have my favorite artists as everybody does, some are unique, some would be strange to other people, some of them I’m a little ashamed of (guilty pleasures) but in every case it’s my music. It’s the stuff that makes me feel better.

I can’t count the times I’ve been so overwhelmed by the world that the first thing I do when I go home is put on some music to calm my nerves and lull me into a more peaceful state.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the healing power of calm music and for good reason. It’s soothing, in a way unlike pretty much anything else imaginable. It’s transformative. It can change your mood, it can slow your heart rate, it can soothe invasive thoughts. There’s something about it that takes you out of a situation and gives you respite.

That said, the therapeutic benefits of music are undeniable.

It kind of amazes me that I’ve started to take music for granted as a therapy technique. It’s just something that I do to wind down the day. It’s a habit and I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t helped. Sometimes I just need to escape. Simply put, it’s something that’s extremely beneficial.

What’s your favorite music? How does it make you feel? Could it help if you’re feeling down or bothered? I’d venture to say yes.

The next time you’re having trouble put on some music and things might be a little better.

The Power of Music

Michael Hedrick

Mike Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. He has lived with schizophrenia for many years and his work has been published in Salon, Scientific American and The New York Times. His book is available here You can follow his blog on living with schizophrenia here

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2018). The Power of Music. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 8 Dec 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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