Music Therapy Effective For Both Physical And Mental Health

June 29, 2023; Unhurry Expert Research Team

Scientific research has shown that music can influence physiological processes that enhance physical and mental well-being.

Studies on individuals with mental problems have revealed a discernible improvement in their mental health following therapies that used music as the main method. Other studies have shown that listening to music improves heart rate, motor abilities, stimulates the brain, and strengthens the immune system.

A positive, encouraging, and proactive environment is provided while learning non-invasive techniques to treat symptoms associated with various disorders – and possibly modulate the immune system. Music-based interventions offer music-based activities in both a therapeutic environment (Music therapy) with the support of a trained professional, as well as in a non-therapeutic setting.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is described as the clinical and evidence-based use of musical therapies to achieve unique objectives within a therapeutic partnership. After the Second World War, music therapy emerged as a profession and has since played a significant role in therapeutic and healthcare settings around the world.

A form of creative arts treatment known as music therapy employs artistic endeavours in a therapeutic setting with the aid of a qualified practitioner. People who struggle to communicate verbally, such as those with communication issues or those who are struggling with mental health issues and find it difficult to convey their thoughts and feelings in words, benefit greatly from creative arts therapies.

The setting that these therapies offer is safe and encouraging, allowing patients to express themselves in whatever way they see fit while still being supported by the therapeutic relationship.

Music effective for people having difficulty in verbal communication

The avoidance strategy may be disabled, and the expression of emotions and suffering is made possible by using techniques for verbal and nonverbal expression and investigation, such as dance and body movement, music, art, and expressive writing.

Music has developed out of emotional communication, and musical elements in speech allow for open discussion of feelings. Music is especially helpful for persons who struggle with verbal communication because participation and response are not simply dependent on speaking abilities. Therefore, for those who have a disability, an injury, or a mental illness, working with music can completely transform their lives.

Music therapy is beneficial both physically and mentally

Numerous studies have been done that show how music therapy is good for the body and the mind. Recently, there has also been interest in the question of whether non-therapeutic general music activities can improve service users’ mental health and well-being. Studies on individuals with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression have revealed a noticeable improvement in their mental health following general music and music therapy interventions. Additionally, studies have shown that music and music therapy have other advantages, such as enhanced heart rate, motor abilities, brain stimulation, and immune system boosting.

Although it’s possible that music began as a purely artistic form with entertainment purposes, it’s now known that music has physiological effects that can enhance both physical and emotional well-being. It can therefore

perform crucial adaptive tasks.

The role of music since first interactions

The initial interactions between a mother and her baby often involve singing. Research on parent-infant communication has revealed that the earliest human contact contains numerous musical characteristics. A mother’s use of rhythmic movement to communicate with her baby while singing appears to be a crucial element.

Studies have shown that a mother’s sensitiveness and care for her child are expressed through her voice, touch, facial expressions, and rhythmical motions. Due to the regularity of the pulse and the delicate exchange of gestural narratives, this co-created communicative interaction has been exhibiting a “communicative musicality,” which is a quality that is like that of music and dance. The foundation of a healthy mother-infant bond, which is crucial for future child development, may be found in the mother’s pleasant emotional arousal and synchronization with her newborn.

Music, music therapy, and mental health

It has been found that using music as a systematic intervention in the treatment of mental diseases such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia is helpful in reducing symptoms and enhancing mood and social connections. Some people with mental illnesses could be too disturbed to benefit from therapy solely through verbal discourse. As a result, the musical connection may assist and offer musical skills and abilities that are highly useful for the patient’s daily life. Unique features in terms of relationship development, emotional expression, and motivation can be found in music.

Music and the immune system

Although psychological stress cannot be eliminated, there are ways to change how stress is perceived and how well people are able to cope with stressors. For example, music has been used as a stress management technique, and studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress responses in the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Several autonomic systems, including the heart rate, breathing rate, sweating, and others, have been specifically demonstrated to change in response to music, confirming claims that many people utilize music to achieve both physical and psychological equilibrium. Music may be one of the stress-reducing lifestyle options that are regarded to be highly protective against diseases.

Leukocytes, cytokines, immunoglobulins, hormones, and neurotransmitters linked to immune response are only a few of the immune response biomarkers where changes have been seen overall. Since studies have begun to link music’s positive benefits on stress to a wider impact on health, music has started to be taken seriously in healthcare settings. There may be scientific plausibility for the use of music in the treatment of unwell patients if it may mediate anti-inflammatory effects, as shown by decreased levels of inflammatory biomarkers. The findings of these studies offer more evidence that music can strengthen the immune system, and as Daisy Fancourt has noted, the trend toward encouraging results of the relationship between music and psychoneuroimmunological response strongly encourages additional research in this area.

Music therapy and other biological effects

Researchers have identified ‘hedonic hotspots’ that are specifically linked to the expression of pleasure and are activated by opioid signalling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral pallidum. Therefore, the dopamine and opioid systems interact in important ways. Euphoria is brought on by a sharp rise in dopamine release in humans, and the intensity of this feeling is inversely correlated with the amount of ventral striatal dopamine released, which also triggers a significant increase in endorphin release in the NAc. Opioid antagonists, on the other hand, prevent the subjective ‘high’ brought on by a significant release of dopamine. As a result, it makes sense to speculate that music-induced strong dopamine release may promote opioid stimulation of so-called hedonic hotspots.

A growing amount of research shows that the perception of enjoyable music causes functional activation network connections and the release of dopamine in the brain.

The Benefits Of Music Therapy For Mental Health

Music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—but music can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation.



The increasing evidence of the benefits of music activities and Music therapy provided by the literature is a driving force for developing music-based therapy services in the healthcare sector. By promoting physical and psychological health, music can be an effective treatment option suitable for every environment and people of every age, race, and ethnic background.


Help is here:

Name of the Organisation: Music as Therapy, India

Music as Therapy is based in Hyderabad. Since 2015 it supports caregivers to introduce music for children with learning disabilities and autism. Most recently the institute has been considering the ways music might help local carers for people living with dementia.



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