There are times in all of our lives where we just feel overwhelmed or may be undergoing a lot of pressure in our personal or professional lives. In adolescent years, many teenagers feel overwhelmed quite often, as they have the responsibility to balance school, home, social life, and on top of that many may have club, sport, or work responsibilities all of which must be balanced. Being overwhelmed can trigger negative emotions such as anxiety, worry, anger, and irritability. In fact, the feeling of being overwhelmed prompts the release of cortisol or the “stress hormone” while at the same time depleting the body’s serotonin stores, the chemical that helps our bodies fight off anxiety and depression. Constantly feeling overwhelmed can have quite a negative effect on our bodies and wellbeing, therefore it is important to find mechanisms that help cope with stressors. One healthy coping mechanism that shows positive outcomes when feeling overwhelmed is called music therapy.
Music and your mood
So, what exactly is music therapy? Music therapy is the use of music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of a group or individual. This can involve listening to music, playing a musical instrument yourself, or participating in guided imagery sessions with music.
Many of us experience an emotional connection with music, happy songs make us feel happier, and oftentimes we find ourselves emotionally moved by beautiful music. So, what is the reason that we are all so powerfully connected to music? Well, in recent years scientific studies have confirmed a link between music and mood. Therefore, when we listen to music we enjoy, we tend to feel happier and less stressed. The scientific reasoning behind all this is that music triggers the release of pleasure-causing substances in the brain such as norepinephrine and melatonin. In addition to the increase in healthy neurotransmitters, music can also decrease the production of stress-causing hormones within the body. As a result, music therapy has the power to provide the following benefits:
- Reduce stress & anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Lessen depressed moods
- Create positive mood
- Boosted self-confidence
- Increase energy
Types of music for healing
Music is a part of human nature; our ancestors have been creating music since the dawn of time. It is a form of art that provides entertainment, expression, and community. Music has become an integral part of our lives, and it can be a great mechanism for self-healing in teens and adults alike. Some research suggests even listening to sad music can boost your mood and provide therapeutic effects, likewise to happy music. However, there is other research to suggest that sad music may cause negative feelings in some people, so be sure you are listening to whatever type of music your body is most comfortable with.
Healing from grief or loss
Music can provide us with feelings of comfort and relief. A study from the Journal of Consumer Research explored the relationship between interpersonal relationships and mood, and found that when someone was experiencing a breakup or the loss of a relationship, sad music could be quite therapeutic. For some, listening to sad music in a time of grief can be an outlet for emotional release. These songs may provide the listener with a feeling of empathy – the sense that someone else truly understands what you’re going through.
Improving mood and wellbeing
While sad music can be very beneficial for healing in times of grief, listening to “happy” or upbeat music brings us feelings of joy, positivity, and improved mood. Even more than that, people who began listening to more upbeat music showed improvements in mood and overall happiness in just two weeks. The improvements music has on our emotional wellbeing can have greater impacts beyond feeling good. Happiness is linked to better physical health, higher income, and greater relationship satisfaction.
Healing sound frequencies
Simply put, music is the art of arranging a variety of sounds in order to create a beautiful melody, harmony, or rhythm. While you can heal the mind with music, you can also heal the mind by pinpointing certain sound frequencies to target a particular area which you would like to heal. This is a process called sound healing. Sound healing works by creating specific sound waves, or frequencies, that are believed to provide healing to certain physical and emotional ailments. This technique has been used since the early Roman Christian era, in order to raise vibrations and energy. Listed below are specific sound healing frequencies and their prospective benefits:
- 174 Hz relieves pain and stress
- 285 Hz heals tissues and organs
- 396 Hz liberates you from fear and guilt
- 417 Hz facilitates change
- 528 Hz for transformation and DNA repair
- 639 Hz reconnects you with your relationships
- 741 Hz helps provide solutions and self-expression
- 852 Hz brings you back to a spiritual order
- 963 Hz creates room for oneness and unity; known as “The frequency of the Gods”
Even if you feel you are unable to hear the difference between the sound frequencies, you can still experience the beneficial effects of sound healing. After just a few weeks of practicing sound healing, you may begin to notice improvements regarding your productivity, focus, and creativity. For some, sound healing may bring up intense emotions such as crying or stress, this is your body’s reaction as it clears your mind from negative energies.
Music therapy for teens
Teenagers experience similar levels of stress compared to adults. In fact, a recent study from the American Psychological Association found that teenagers report higher levels of stress than adults during the school year, despite thinking their stress levels are “normal” and that their stress has little to no effects on their health. One of the largest factors on teenagers’ stress levels is how they handle their stress, or the coping mechanisms they use for stress. Some teens may rely on healthy outlets such as reading or exercise, while others may have less healthy outlets such as playing video games or going on social media. If your teen is struggling to find a healthy outlet to cope with stress, music therapy could be an easy and effective outlet for stress in teens. Listening to music provides feelings of mindfulness, calmness, and emotional release, creating a healthy coping mechanism for mental health that can be used on a daily basis.
Red Mountain Colorado is here to help!
Red Mountain Colorado is a residential treatment program for teenagers ages 13-17 designed to help adolescents work through mental health struggles such as trauma, anxiety, and depression. Our programming helps teens to develop healthy coping skills to utilize in stressful or overwhelming situations.
At Red Mountain Colorado, we focus on evidence-based and holistic therapies to help your teen overcome negative thought patterns and behaviors, in order to develop greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and positive decision making.
For more information please call (970) 316-7683.