Music as therapy for our mental health

Music has always been a channel with which we communicate our well-being. It gives us a glimpse into the world of other people.  Music helps us to relate to others’ struggles; with mental health, the melancholy of love, the beauty of life, and the darkness of depression. We can recognise ourselves in the lyrics, feel goosebumps at all the same moments, and take comfort in the fact that we all experience similar emotions.

Music can be a powerful way to change our mood; to lift us up, or to put some space between us and our thoughts, or something we put on to amplify our emotional state. Two stand-out albums for me when I was a teenager, and struggling with depression, were Come As You Are by Nirvana, and The Bends by Radiohead. The front men of both bands, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), and Thom Yorke (Radiohead), were a huge inspiration to me, in the way they sang about their mental health, depression, and their sadness, and it gave me a place I could escape to, and feel connected to something, and gave me a sense of hope, that things would work themselves out.

I am really passionate to promote music as a therapy for our mental health; both in the listening, and the receiving of music, and also in the creation of music, writing, songs and poetry, as a medium to express our emotions.

Doing this helps us to Bloom Connection with ourselves, and with others.

Here on BloomSpace, I am going to share different ways you can enhance your well-being through music and the performing arts:

  • Check out the Bloom Blog for Opportunities to Bloom, for information to support aspiring artists/musicians/writers/actors
  • Join our Facebook Group HERE (Bloom – The Health Spa for the Mind). Come and share your YouTube and Facebook LiVE videos of your music and other inspirational moments with our tribe

Two years ago The Guardian ran a story about mental health in music, introducing research being carried out into music as a form of therapy. The research was particularly looking at hip-hop therapy as a new route to mental well-being.

The Guardian article introduced us to a clinically led social venture in the UK, called ‘Hip Hop Psych’, who are ‘engaging with mental health experts and the wider public, in order to challenge stereotypes and to disarm the boundaries between psychiatry, humanities, and hip-hop culture’.

Among the songs and artists highlighted by Hip Hop Psych for their potential use in the understanding of mental illness, and their notions of empowerment, is Pharrell Williams, and in particular the million-selling British No 1, Happy.

Watch the VIDEO. It’s impossible not to feel good

🙂

You can find out more about Hip Hop Psych and how their social venture has developed over the last two years, at their website: http://www.hiphoppsych.co.uk and you can follow them on Twitter here: @hiphopsych


You can read the full article by The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/11/hip-hop-rap-therapy-mental-health-psychiatrists-pharrell-happy

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4 Replies to “Music as therapy for our mental health”

  1. Sasha, thank you so much for this post. It started me thinking about the songs that have helped my mood over the years. One was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” which gave me the courage to move on from pain. Two others tying for joint second place are “What a day for a daydream” by The Loving Spoonful, I think, and “Perfect Day” .

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