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Using Music to Alleviate Depression

By HERWriter
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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

It is widely acknowledged that music can have a profound effect on people’s moods, although science is still trying to figure out why.

It is also difficult to determine how exactly music affects anything we feel.

Musical Moods or Moody Music

For example, when we’re feeling romantic we might choose a love song. When we want to get some physical work done either around the house or perhaps while working on a car, we’ll turn on music that keeps our energy up and keeps us moving. Then there are those times when we know we’re down, or angry, or stressed, and we choose music that will bring us up, generate good feelings, and lower our blood pressure. In these kinds of situations, our mood chooses the music.

We’ve all been in grocery stores where they usually play slower-paced, easy-listening music. This type of music is strategically chosen by stores to relax customers and keep them in the store longer with the hope that they will buy more. There are certain songs that should require a tissue warning and have us feeling down for the rest of the day, or have us longing for a pick-me-up song afterward. In these cases, the music we listen to can dictate our mood.

Music Picks You Up or Meets You Where You Are

Knowing how music affects us can also help us make choices that will boost our spirits in those moments where we’re feeling stressed, like the world is closing in on us, and we don’t feel as though we have the energy to move on.

In the throes of depression, music can be used as a light to help ease things. Certain words or melodies can bring back pleasant memories and sufferers can capitalize on those types of songs. At the same time, a person can also recognize when to avoid certain songs or types of music that might deepen their feelings of sadness.

Sometimes healing comes from just knowing that someone else has experienced it, too. Acknowledging the pain of the circumstances that have resulted in a depressed state is often critical to addressing that issue and finally working one’s way out of the pit. Many songs have been written out of similar circumstances in the songwriter’s life.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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