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Krylyn Peters Jul 8, 2010

Using Music to Heal

Why do you listen to music? To feel better? To calm down? To get more energy? To connect with others who feel the same way you do or who have experienced the same thing you have? Whatever the reason, know that music can provide these benefits and more.

You may notice that when you listen to a certain song, your mood gets better. It may be the words of the song, the beat, or a particular instrument that you enjoy. All you know is that you find yourself smiling, tapping your foot, or thinking positive thoughts. You may also notice that other songs bring up feelings of sadness or painful memories from the past. You may find you start to tear up, or your heart pounds faster, or you think negative thoughts. In both cases, you are having an emotional reaction to a song, which is a good start to understanding yourself better and how music can be helpful for you.

Think about the songs you listen to the most. What do the words say? Do they tell a story? Do they talk about feelings, people, events, or things? Can you relate to the words from your own experience or do the words provide an escape for you to not think about your own life?

Pick one of your favorite songs, listen to it, and answer the following questions as you do. How do you feel when you listen to this song? What are you thinking when you listen to this song? What are you doing when you listen to this song? How is your body responding as you listen to this song?

There are no right or wrong answers here. Just an opportunity for you to think about how the music you listen to affects you, which is a first step to unlocking the power of music and how it can be healing. If you find yourself having negative thoughts, feelings, or reactions while listening to certain music, it may be time to trade it in for something that has a more positive effect.

Krylyn Peters is a counselor and singer/songwriter who uses the power of music and sound for healing.

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