Overview

Music can play a big part in our lives. Research suggests that music can stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals (Eg. endorphins, oxytocin), it can help energize our mood and even help us work through problems and provide an outlet for us to take control of our feelings. Check out this page with a great factsheet and videos to help you use music in a helpful way.

Topic Videos

Kaki King talks about music and mental health

A 2013 Music Feedback Rockumentaries.
Steph sat down with Kaki King http://www.kakiking.com/, Guitarist/Composer from Atlanta Georgia to talk about mental health. Watch to hear about Kaki's thoughts on Coming Out, the importance of role models, music as a language of emotion and society's focus on consumption.

  • Author: Music Feedback
  • Upload Date: 2013-10-07

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Factsheet

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Music and Our Mental Health

music and our mental health

Image Credit: amear | Flickr

Music can play a big part in our lives. We listen to music when we are happy, sad, to relax or calm down or to pump us up ready to go. Listening to music is a popular way to cope with difficult times. Music can sometimes:

  • express how we are feeling
  • relate to our own experiences and emotions
  • vent difficult thoughts and emotions
  • comfort us

Many young people report that music listening helps them feel better, work through problems, and free their minds.

But sometimes listening to music isn’t helpful.

Why does music sometimes make us feel worse?

It may be the choice of music, or it may just be us on the day that listening to music can make us feel worse. So how can we make sure that we use music in a positive way?

Here are some points to consider:

1. What does music do for you?

2. Does it make you feel better or worse?

3. When is it helpful? When is it not?

Once we are aware of how music affects us, we can then start to be more conscious about what and when we listen to music.

Many young people say that having their music on shuffle is not always the best way when they having a touch time. So think about these points to help you find a more effective way of listening to music, especially during tough times.

Playlists for specific times

Some young people have suggested creating playlists for different times can be really helpful.

Check out the music section on TINO www.tuneinnotout.com/music for playlists created by other young people and their stories for some examples and inspiration.

Give making a playlist of songs a try and you might find that listening to your music and being aware of how different music affects you, might help you feel more in control of your feelings.

Listening to music doesn’t have to be the only way music can help. Have you tried singing, playing an instrument, writing your own music or song? Check out the factsheet about Making Music and Our Mental health below for more information.

Getting Help

If you require further support or help now - please visit our finding help page for links to services which can assist.

For citing purposes:
Cheong-Clinch, C. and McLeod, L. (2014). Music listening and our mental health [factsheet]. http://www.tuneyourmood.com Thanks to young people for their helpful feedback.

Download this Factsheet

You can download a copy of this Music Listening and Our Mental Health factsheet here.

Making Music and Our Mental Health

Music can play a big part in our lives. Some of us listen to music. And some of us would music that is to make or write music or dance.

Musicians, dancers and song writers have said that music-ing is a way of:

  • expressing themselves
  • venting
  • relating and communicating their experiences thoughts and emotions to others
  • bringing people together
  • feeling better
  • thinking about things

Music-ing and Feeling Good!

Those who love to play a musical instrument, sing, join a band, orchestra or choir, write music or songs, and dance report that it’s:

  • really a good feeling when it sounds good.
  • a different experience playing (in a band) and dancing with other people.
  • a way of feeling like “I’ve achieved something”.
  • the feeling of being up on stage and making the crowd smile and clap. • letting go of energy in a beautiful way.

Music-making, dancing and composing give us opportunities to be part of a community – like being in a band, choir, orchestra. It helps us feel like we belong to something a bit bigger than ourselves. Being part of a group also helps to increase our sense of achievement and self-esteem. We feel good and proud to contribute to the group.

One young person said that being in an orchestra was like “all the different sections and everyone playing their little parts coming together”. Some have said that it gives them moments of “intense living”. Some even say that “you forget everything around you” like the nervousness of performing in front of an audience “just melts away”. For another, he “just want to let rip the dance moves” on stage. These musical experiences and expressions provide valuable ways to grow, develop and enjoy during teenage years, with positive consequences for adulthood.

When we feel good and valued by what we do, and that we’re part of our community, we also feel good about ourselves.

So if you already sing, play an instrument or dance, think about joining a choir, band or orchestra, or a dance crew. If you don’t, have you thought of having some lessons? How about writing your own songs and music? There are software programs that can help you get started, like Garageband.

However you music, be sure to enjoy it like these other young people do!

Download this factsheet

You can download a copy of this Making Music and our Mental health factsheet here

For citing purposes:
Cheong-Clinch, C. (2014). Music listening and our mental health [factsheet]. http://www.tuneyourmood.com

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