Music As A Coping Skill


Music can span cultures, time periods, and generations.

With countless genres to listen to, there is something out there for everyone to enjoy. There are also so many ways to enjoy music, whether it is through listening to a song, playing an instrument, talking to someone about it, going to a concert or dancing to a song by yourself. Music can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and it has even been recommended that pregnant women listen to music because this can benefit fetal development. 

Specific taste in music varies by the individual, much like food preferences. What one person finds to be enjoyable can be what another person finds yucky. Part of the beauty of music is how there are many different perspectives that can be brought to the same song. There are many different genres of music, when Googled, a list of 42 pops up. A few examples include popular (pop), rock, jazz, country, electronic, hip hop, and folk music. 

Music Choices 

The music choices that someone makes has been researched and can suggest different aspects of a person’s personality. A commonly used question to break the ice with another person is “what music do you like?”. If someone were to create a playlist with their top 10 favorite songs, we could learn a lot about that person based on their choices. Certain personality profiles have been shown to be drawn to specific types of music. Also, there has been a correlation between being extraverted and the ability to be productive with music on. 

There has been research that suggests music can assist in healing physical pain if the listener is having positive emotions. An example of this could be when someone goes to a nerve-wracking doctor’s appointment and jams out to their favorite song on the way. Music can bring up a variety of emotions, and feelings brought on by music are okay. Music can also help us better understand our emotions, as it may be easier to find a song that more accurately describes a feeling that you are experiencing than to try to put it into words. 

How Can I Use Music As a Coping Skill? 

Below are some fun ways to use music as a coping skill. 

  1. Make a playlist of your favorite songs for when you are feeling a particular emotion, for example anger, sadness, or happiness. 
  2. Listen to a song, then journal about the lyrics and how they are impacting you in the moment 
  3. Share a playlist, song, or artist with someone and tell them why you like it 
  4. Take a dance class! 
  5. Listen to a playlist while you do housework 
  6. Pick a song you’ve never listened to before then tell someone how you felt before, during and after listening to the song. 

Music and Feelings

Tests using brain scans have shown that the part of the brain that processes music is near the part that processes emotions and memory. Feelings can be brought out and processed through different musical avenues, like listening or dancing to music. Music can evoke more intense emotions than spoken words. An example of this might be when people listen to sad or angry music while going through a breakup. This provides the person access to those same feelings, as well as validation for what they are going through. How do couples who are getting married choose the song that they want to have playing when they have their first dance? Are you someone who can get the most work accomplished while listening to the radio? How does your music playlist differ from activity to activity? All of these questions can tell you a lot about how music impacts your emotions.

Are you ready to take that next step and explore how to use music and other coping skills to help you get through the day-to-day? Email or call us today to schedule an appointment  at 217-203-2008. 

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October 14, 2022