According to the UK’s biggest mental health charity, MIND, 1 in 6 people report experiencing common mental health problems (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, figures have increased to 21% of UK adults experiencing depression between January 2021 – March 2021.
As time goes by, we are all working towards stamping out the stigma attached to mental health conditions, with movements such as Mental Health Awareness Month encouraging more people to talk and support one another within schools and workplaces, worldwide.
But what are the different coping mechanisms that can help us through difficult times?
Music can have a powerful effect on our minds, with substantial scientific evidence now suggesting that music can play a key role in the improvement of mental health.
Alongside this, additional studies have revealed that music therapy can provide multiple benefits for individuals struggling with depression and anxiety.
If you’re struggling with mental health at the moment, here are a range of different ways in which music might be able to help.
It Can Naturally Boost Your Mood
Research has shown that when music is played the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases within our bodies, while the production of serotonin and dopamine, also known as “happy hormones ” increases, elevating our overall mood.
Try creating a feel-good playlist to listen to on your phone or laptop when you’re feeling low. Alternatively, if you find that screens are adding to your anxiety, turntables and records can be a great way to incorporate music into your daily routine if you want a more authentic sound whilst keeping your screen time down.
It Can Provide Healthy Distraction
Often when we’re experiencing depression or anxiety, negative thoughts can enter our minds and take over. Music can be a great way of drowning out these pesky negative thoughts, by giving our minds something else to focus on.
It doesn’t matter what kind of music you choose to help you with this, any genre will do the trick! Similarly, audiobooks can also be great for this, particularly at bedtime if you’re trying to get to sleep. Providing your mind with another narrative to follow takes your train of thought away from negativity, helping you to focus on the story that is unraveling instead.
Sometimes we don’t want to ignore our emotions and the healthiest thing we can do for our body and mind is to actually feel whatever it is that we’re feeling.
Music helps us to do this by providing the soundtrack for our current mood. Whether we’re angry, happy, sad, heartbroken, or full of joy, finding a song to suit our emotional state can be a healthy form of catharsis.