How Music Helps In Overcoming Grief

Through music, we can freely express our emotions and thoughts without the need to verbalize them. We couldn’t imagine living without it. The good thing about it is not only can it be used for good times’ sake, but it can also be a good company during tough times.


Expressing Your Feelings In A Creative Way

When you are down, specifically in grief, there are various coping mechanisms you can take. Express your feelings creatively. Putting into words how much pain a loss could cause is challenging. Sometimes it gets even harder to keep a journal or write a letter about how you feel. It is where music comes to the rescue. 

A journal found music has been considered as a way of healing the pain of grief. Any song, may it be with lyrics or just an instrumental, can also help us in getting our message across. Any genre can make us feel different emotions and help us let them all out.

Music therapist and bereavement counselor Molly Hicks testifies music paves the way for people to open up about their memories and the challenges they face. Music can set and even change the mood of anyone in grief. It helps not only patients or grieving clients but also psychologists and therapists. These professionals can better understand how patients are feeling and evaluate how much progress they have made in dealing with grief.



Healing In Health Care Settings

Researchers found the use of music therapy in health care settings has been remarkably effective. It helps medical professionals in calming the patients, reducing stress, and managing both physical and emotional pain. Research explains music is connected to the pleasure center of our brains, allowing us to release feel-good neurotransmitters. “Listening to music is a helpful way to cope with and process emotions. It can evoke a connection to what individuals feel at different moments in their lives.” Abigail Saneholtz, Psy.D explains.

Studies from various universities across the US also show certain types of music can help with memory and concentration. An improvement in one’s mood has a significant impact on our brains. Music can also reduce people’s subjective experiences of anxiety and its physical symptoms such as high blood pressure and reduced heart rate.

“While music has long been recognized as an effective form of therapy to provide an outlet for emotions, the notion of using song, sound frequencies and rhythm to treat physical ailments is a relatively new domain.” That is according to Daniel J. Levitin, PhD. Multiple studies found listening to music contributed to a significant decline in anxiety and hypertension among patients needing surgery. Psychologists agree that music has the power to enhance our lives and provide physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. It is an integral part of the many transitions in our lives.


Creating A Music Playlist To Cope With Grief

We listed down tips in picking songs that will help you cope with grief:

  • Choose songs that remind of the person you have lost. Any song that brings back a fond memory with your loved one is a great choice.
  • Choose songs that have a significant impact on you. These songs include those that hit something in you emotionally.
  • Choose songs that reflect your circumstances. These are the songs that help you feel less isolated and realize someone understands what you are going through.
  • Choose comforting songs. To cope is to move on in life. Pick songs that you know will ease the pain and make you feel better.

Marla W. Deibler, PsyD once said, “To quell overwhelm, engage in an activity that you enjoy, such as listening to music.” Remember, whatever you are going through in life, there is a song to help you make it through. It may not heal you completely, but you will surely “find some comfort here,” as Sarah McLachlan sings.