The Power of Music in Recovery
There are notable benefits to listening to music for anyone at any stage of their lives. Music is powerful in that it can bring back memories and take you to another place. People listen to music to dance or feel good, to meditate, to feel emotion, or to trigger creative flow.
For all these reasons, it has shown to be effective to incorporate music throughout the process of addiction recovery.
When a person is addicted to a substance, it is generally to feel something, or conversely, to not feel anything at all. Music, whether simply listening to it or creating one’s own melodies and rhythms, has the same power: the ability to generate and access emotion, which is why it can become a useful tool in helping individuals overcome addictions.
What we know about addiction is that for those that struggle with dependence on a substance, they will also likely have fixated patterns of emotions such as anger, fear, or denial, and engage in behaviors such as lying and hiding in order to maintain their addiction.
From a therapist’s perspective, by incorporating music into a client’s life as a form of therapy, it operates as a bridge into deeper parts of themselves. You are providing a less-threatening or alternative way of thinking in order to break the cycle of unhealthy behavioral and emotional patterns.
It may also end up being a powerful tool to open the door to explore and discuss new emotions that are often felt by listening to certain types of music. Encouragement to explore new and healthy emotions through a comfortable starting point like music is a great way to ease into a recovery mindset.
Another way that music is beneficial during the recovery process is for its use in relaxation. It is true that at times some of the skills of mindfulness and meditation feel a bit out of the realm of what’s comfortable for those new to recovery. Music is an easier path for them to find their way into some of the more “advanced” or prescriptive forms of relaxation. Finding the right kind of music to help someone relax is a great tool for stress management, whether it’s listening to classical piano, atmospheric calm music, or even just old songs that encapsulate happy memories from the past.
Of course creating music is also a wholly beneficial use of time as well. This outlet for relaxation can become a new hobby, providing a sense of self-worth and self-esteem. From singing or songwriting, to drumming or simply creating sounds that flow together, engaging your creativity in this way can bring about a new path that inspires growth.
Often the thing that we gravitate towards most in music are the lyrics. We listen to the words of our favorite songs and connect with them. Listeners can hold on to the words of the artists who write them, and find the language to express themselves in ways that hadn’t occurred to them previously.
One thing is true, we listen to music to feel less alone, and to recognize that others have similar encounters with anger, shame, hurt, and sadness. Sometimes these connections can stir up deep emotions, however, you can use this emotional pull to your advantage by creating a playlist full of positive music that will allow inner connection to a sense of growth, success, and happiness.
There is no doubt that listening to positive and motivational music during recovery is a powerful instrument to achieving success. Becoming reconnected with music in a state of sobriety and taking the time to learn, appreciate and really understand what is being listened to is a game changer.
At Launch Centers, we understand that the work and dedication in achieving sobriety involves finding each individual’s unique purpose and building potential to learn, work and grow in ways different than before. We are excited to see how we can partner with you to achieve great things during your time with us and beyond. Give us a call at 1-877-895-3231 to start today.