Holistic Nursing Certification Program: Music Therapy

Holistic Nursing Certification Blog

Music Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Stress and Substance Abuse

Music therapy is emerging as a popular and effective supplemental treatment for mental health issues like stress, and addictive disorders such as substance abuse. Music performance and vocalization is as old as civilization, with each culture developing a unique style. Today, people around the world enjoy a variety of genres, including pop, rock, classical, folk, and country, among others.

Learning to tune in meaningfully to a favorite type of music can help to improve health in a number of important ways. This can be accomplished through the guidance of a specially-trained music therapist who has completed a certification program.

Mood Disorders

Those struggling with depression or stress may find it difficult to relate to people in their lives. They feel isolated and alone. Listening to certain types of music with lyrics that express similar emotions can help them to understand they are not alone, that what they are feeling is fairly universal. Some forms of music can also lift the spirits by encouraging serotonin release. While certain songs relax a person emotionally, others energize them.

Substance Abuse

A recovering addict often experiences extreme mood swings and psychological discomfort. Classical music, which is very regulated and precise, can literally evoke a more balanced mindset by settling brainwaves into even patterns. A music therapist with a Kent State University Master’s degree in Music Education says upbeat music can elevate the mood of someone who is emotionally drained or discouraged. A relaxing song, on the other hand, soothes sensitive nerves to encourage a peaceful, more orderly mindset.

Therapeutic Applications

Music therapists use many different techniques to treat patients by using music. While listening to, writing, or performing music is not a cure for disease or disorder, it can be used as a supplemental treatment to enhance a sense of wellbeing. Patients may be advised to listen to a favorite type of music, for example, country songs. Afterward, they can write about their feelings in response to the song, indicating whether they feel better, worse, or the same afterward. They may also be directed to write about their feelings evoked by the song, and then reflect on those feelings and what to do about them.


According to some experts, music has the power to help us meet important health and life goals. Learning to listen for more than basic pleasure is a useful coping strategy and life-long skill, one which can benefit both those in recovery and individuals suffering from mood imbalances. Music, as a positive and motivating force, has long-term therapeutic applications, unlike many drug-based treatments for stress and substance abuse.

About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia.


There are many alternative therapies that Holistic Nursing incorporates into its complimentary program with conventional medicine.  Music Therapy is definitely something to review.  Also please review our Holistic Nursing Certification Program






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