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Music Therapy and Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition which results in a constant depressive state, or loss of interest in numerous activities overall diminishing the quality of daily life. Additionally, it is one of the most common mental disorders in the US. More than 7% of all adults in the US (ages 18 and above) experience major depressive disorder in any given year. This comes out to more than 17 million people. Furthermore, nearly 2 million children have clinical depression according to the CDC from 2018. More information on the statistics of depression can be found on the Depression and Bipolar Alliance’s website, here.

Depression is mainly treated through antidepressants and numerous kinds of therapy. One such therapy is music therapy. Music therapy involves the use of different kinds of music and songs with a wide variety of emotions and lyrics in order to help the patient better explain what they’re going through or simply get to a more positive state. Specifics on exactly what music therapy is can be find on on the American Music Therapy Association’s website. 9 studies involving a total of 421 patients who were exposed to regular therapy along with music therapy, the researchers found that the music therapy treatment (active such as playing or singing music and receptive such as listening) was more effective than the other methods of therapy. The music therapy was shown to reduce depressive symptoms and anxiety and also helped improve functioning such as staying committed to activities and jobs. More information can be found at the Mental Health organization’s report on the studies here.

Additionally, the American Music Therapy Association has documented several other benefits of music therapy such as increased self-esteem and motivation, successful and safe emotional release, and reduced anxiety. Their findings can be found here and an in depth explanation can be found on the Everyday Health website. In conclusion, although there are many ways of treating depression, music therapy seems to be an effective and positive means of treating it with no real side effects.

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