Recovery is a time for us to focus on the self – the mind, body, and spirit must be restored. Valentine’s Day can be difficult for those of us in recovery, and with added pressure to celebrate with a new beau, memories or feelings of sadness, anger, shame, loneliness and more can trigger a relapse. Thankfully, there are many forms of therapy that can help with stress and anxiety. One form of therapy that may be often overlooked is music therapy, a form of therapy that can help fight stress and even manage pain.
Music therapy does not include any one particular kind of therapy. Music therapy can involve virtually any type of music genre. Joanne Loewy, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City stated, “What people say soothes them, soothes them, even if it’s heavy metal. The most important aspect is how it is incorporated into your life.” If you are feeling distressed on Valentine’s Day, you can soothe yourself with music – if sappy love songs make you feel worse, select a different genre, whatever works best for you.
Music’s soothing sounds have benefitted us before we were even born; the American Psychological Association states that singing and soothing music have been found to slow a baby’s heart rate, increased the amount of time a baby stays quietly alert, and improvement in sucking behavior. When it comes to stress, music can serve as an emotional outlet – music has also been shown to improve the body’s immune system by increasing the body’s production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells. Music, both singing, listening, and playing, also reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
The best thing about music therapy is that you can incorporate it in whatever way works best for you. You could be in the car listening to or singing a song; you could be at home playing an instrument; music can be transported so easily and with that is an instant stress reliever. This Valentine’s Day, avoid playing music that could trigger unwanted feelings and thoughts. Play songs that help you recover, that help you heal, and that help you move on. If you’re feeling upset, allow yourself to feel that through music but don’t let it consume your happiness and life. Music therapy is an excellent, easy tool that you can add to your Valentine’s Day to help you stay grounded.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will help you develop the tools you need to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Our music therapy program, called Rock to Recovery, is a powerful tool where you can write and record songs to express yourself. Make the decision to place your recovery as top priority today, and call us at 888-743-0490 for a consultation.