By William Kitner
(KTRN Exclusive) Have you ever been having a bad day, feeling down, depressed, unmotivated, and bummed out? We all have. What do you normally do to try to get out of your funk? For some people, they may take a walk, clean the house, watch a funny movie, or call up a friend to chit chat. But what about listening to your favorite music? Try it. You might be surprised just how much better it makes you feel. First, you’re sad and lonely. Then you crank up the volume and the next thing you know, you’re moving, grooving, dancing, and playing air guitar to your favorite album. I’ll will bet you a million dollars (OK, $1) that you will absolutely feel better, almost instantly.
It’s called music therapy and it can work on virtually anyone. According to the American Music Therapy Association, it’s “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. It is an established health service similar to occupational therapy and physical therapy and consists of using music therapeutically to address physical, psychological, cognitive and/or social functioning for patients of all ages. Because music therapy is a powerful and non-invasive medium, unique outcomes are possible. In addition to its applications in mental health, music therapy is used successfully in a variety of additional healthcare and educational settings.”
There are numerous benefits to music therapy. You can explore personal feelings and therapeutic issues such as self-esteem or personal insight. It can help make positive changes in mood and emotional states and enhance awareness of yourself. It helps you relax and supports healthy feelings and emotions. It’s even been seen to help develop independence and decision making skills, along with improving concentration or attention span.
A recent video on You Tube has been getting quite a lot of hits. The video (see below) shows an elderly man in a nursing home. He is usually unresponsive and dead to the world. But once he starts listening to his favorite music, he practically wakes up from his slumber. His eyes widen, he taps his toes, he smiles, and he hoots and hollers. After a short session listening to music, the doctors as him questions about his past. Instead of being in a vegetable state, he begins to not only talk about his favorite music, but he even starts singing while remembering his past (he’s got a great voice too).
It doesn’t matter what type of music you listen to. Some experts will say listening to Baroque classical music will make you feel better, but honestly, pick whatever you like. If Slayer is your thing, rock out. If you like bluegrass, that’s cool too. Prog Rock? Why not? Just make sure you turn the volume to 11 like the guys in Spinal Tap.