Can Music be a Coping Mechanism?
February 24, 2020
From seeing counselors to therapists, to talking it out, or holding it in, coping with loss or other emotionally painful circumstances is something everyone has to do to get through the hard times. One of the many methods used to cope can actually be music.
While some say music can actually be harmful because although listening to music can be joyful- the hurt is still trapped inside, others say the complete opposite.
A meta analysis of 400 individuals was taken, and it was found out that music has the direct power to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as fight depression and boost the immune system. Observing as students walk down the hallways with earbuds or airpods, it can sometimes be really easy to tell if that person is having a good day- or not so much. Music has a wonderful impact on people going through trials in life because it can uplift the self esteem or even brighten the mood of someone going through something that others may not be able to understand or relate too. Keeping to oneself and using their own personal resources to get through a rough patch in life is often looked down upon, because many believe that talking to someone is the only way to get through a struggle. While talking to a trusted person about what is going on in your life is a very positive thing and a good outlet- some choose to rely on themselves, and get through it alone. Music can be a huge part of that coping and healing process.
Nonetheless, there are still individuals that feel music has a negative impact on the coping process. Doctoral student Emily Carson wanted to dig deeper and examine the negative impacts and factors that come with music in mental health. She found that there are multiple categories of dealing with mental health issues through music. While music is mainly a positive mechanism to use- distracting oneself or even lying to the own brain with terms like “It’s not that big of a deal.” or, “just look on the bright side it’ll be fine” is actually completely negative- and shows signs into depression and denial. Music can impact and influence this thought process greatly.
Looking ahead at the “big picture” music is helpful, but only if the other steps toward emotional recovery are noted and achieved.