The Power of Music in Addiction Recovery

Music is part of all our lives in a positive and uplifting way. It dates back thousands of years and is found in all cultures across the globe. The harmony of instruments and lyrics help tell the stories of our past and present while painting a picture of what could lie ahead. 

The benefits of music go much deeper for those recovering from substance use disorders. According to the American Psychological Association, researchers have found that music improves the body’s immune system function, increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain and reduces stress by decreasing the amount of cortisol produced. Music therapy is an effective tool that aids physical, emotional, and cognitive growth in addiction recovery. Below are just a few of many potential benefits provided by music.   

  • Helps manage pain 
  • Improves quality of sleep  
  • Reduces stress and provides an outlet for relaxation 
  • Improves motivation 
  • Promotes self-awareness 
  • Boosts self-esteem 
  • Encourages self-expression 
  • Strengthens memory and cognitive performance 
  • Decreases symptoms of depression and improves mood 
  • Boosts workout performance 

Music therapy is one of the simplest ways someone can express their own unique personality. It’s a tool that can take many forms during the recovery process, beyond just listening to music.  

According to research from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, music can provide a social outlet and be useful for preventing and treating addiction. These social outlets can provide support and structure during the recovery journey. 

Some ways to tap into the social benefits of music include joining a music class or a choir or taking lessons to learn a new instrument. Joining online or virtual music forums can also be helpful in developing a community with the shared interest of discovering new songs, artists, and genres. There are hundreds of playlists shared online designed to help with recovery. Think about the possibility of crafting a unique playlist and sharing it with others. Writing original music and simply singing are also great options. New England Recovery Center offers weekly music groups that dedicate time to music appreciation. Clients who are musically inclined are encouraged to sing or bring their instruments to play.  

Music can continue to be an essential and motivational addition at any point in the recovery process. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction or a substance use disorder, call the New England Recovery Center today at 1-877-MyRehab.   

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