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How Music Affects Mental Health

Written by Hanya Awan October 11th 2021

Music has been around for many centuries in various forms from classical, to jazz and modern-day pop. However, since a lot of individuals listen to music daily they are not fully aware of how much of an impact it has on them, even if it is listened to for distracting ourselves from issues, important tasks and occupations. Music helps the current generation and youth in expressing our emotions without utilizing words ourselves. For example, exposure to optimistic music lyrics can support someone who is struggling to cope with issues and stressors that they are going through.

Since every person conveys different qualities and characteristics it is no surprise that different music genres are liked by distinct listeners. The older generation, teachers and parents may question our desire to listen to a certain genre of music, however, it helps the child understand themselves better through auditory art. While therapy is always an option for the child to benefit from, sometimes listening to music can assist the person to cope with the emotions that they have contained within themselves for a long period of time. Since music contains rhythmic and repetitive aspects, the audio engages the neocortex of our brain which calms and reduces our tension. The neocortex is the center for higher brain functions, such as insight, choice management and episodic memory.

Despite the melodies that can aid a person to cope with optimism and constructive thinking, music can also drive youth to a more erroneous path. The wrong music or music that is not the most ideal to clear our mindset, can potentially keep us lingering in a depressive, belligerent or anxious state. To alter this, therapists can play music or melodies to match our present mood so we can feel safe, then gradually shift the music to a more productive song to shift our thinking to be more content and untroubled. “Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It is based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,” notes one otolaryngologist.

To conclude, music can play a significant role in our future decisions, plans and our well-being. If we do not recognize this now then, there is a high probability that we may face great difficulties in overcoming our personal complications. Therefore we must know the most suitable music for ourselves to alter our thinking into a more positive perspective and mindset. Not every individual may cope with the same genre, however, we must recognize how much of a significance the genre we listen to also plays with our mental health and we should continue to be more cautious about that but also take care of our own being.


Works Cited

Eyelight Inc. ( “How Do Popular Music, Lyrics and Videos Affect Your Youth? | Lutherwood.”, 2016,

“Keep Your Brain Young with Music.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2019, music.

Parent Samurai. “How Does Music Affect Teenagers’ Behavior and Emotions? | Parent Samurai.” Parent Samurai, 19 Mar. 2019, “The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.”, 2016, ental-Health#:~:text=Because%20of%20its%20rhythmic%20and.

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