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MUSIC AND MENTAL HEALTH, AN ON GOING CONVERSATION

Mental health has been an increasingly popular conversation in the music space. Between pressure from fans, social media, trauma and the desire to top the Billboard charts, artists often struggle with mental wellness. Rappers like G Herbo and Megan the Stallion have spoken out about the importance of cognitive health and even provide fans with services, tips and information to help. Research shows the benefits of music for various mental health conditions, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia. Music is a great medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief and can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety. October is mental health awareness month and what better time then now to talk about the effects of music on one's mental health.


Lyric Analysis

While cognitive-behavioral therapy allows a person to speak about topics that may be difficult to discuss, lyric analysis introduces an intimate and less-threatening approach to process emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Artists using platforms like Genius.com is encouraged to offer insight, alternative lyrics, and tangible tools or themes from lyrics that can apply to obstacles in their life. We all have a song that we deeply connect to and appreciate and with lyric analysis provides an opportunity for an individual to identify song lyrics that may correlate with their experience.

Improvisation Music Playing

Playing instruments can encourage emotional expression, socialization, and exploration of various therapeutic themes (i.e., conflict, communication, grief, etc.). According to musicnotes.com, whether you’re writing your own piece of music or playing someone else’s, music allows you to express yourself in new ways. You also get to be creative when choosing your own unique style and genre. Playing music can help with stress, insomnia, and depression because it acts as an outlet for difficult emotions. It can be a form of self-soothing in tough situations, and a healthy distraction from a stressful day.

Active Music Listening

Music can be utilized to regulate mood. Music engages our brain’s neocortex because of its rhythmic and repetitive aspects, which calms us and reduces impulsivity. We often use music to match or alter our mood. When you're in a mellow mood, you might want to hear artists like Jhene Aiko or HER. Other times, you may want to hear Lil Baby or Drake when in a more upbeat mood. It is important to note that, while there are benefits to matching music to our mood, it can potentially keep us stuck in a depressive, angry or anxious state. Artists like Brent Faiyaz or Future are often seen as toxic as listeners get older with time and age under their belts. To alter mood states, you can play music to match the room’s current mood and then slowly shift to a more positive or calm state.

Songwriting

Songwriting provides opportunities for expression in a positive and rewarding way. Anyone can create lyrics that reflect their thoughts and experiences with unique instruments and sounds that best reflect the emotion behind the lyrics. This process can be very fulfilling and can aid in building self-esteem. This practice can also instill a sense of pride as someone listens to one's creation.


Mental health and music will always be an ongoing conversation in the entertainment industry. It’s time to put artists' mental health first, before streams and topping Billboard charts. Let's keep the conversation going- follow ellejonesmedia on Twitter now.

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