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Recent Study Finds That Music Therapy Can Help With Triggers, Coping Skills, and More


Drum circle

Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey that involves building a social support system, creating boundaries, and following through with the tools and guidance you’ve been given in your treatment program. No matter whether you have a mental illness or an addiction, triggers often can and will arise at times. Some of these times you may be feeling strong and prepared – other times, they may catch you completely off guard, even at times when you feel lost and vulnerable. Part of recovery is identifying all of the tools that you can use to help keep you grounded during this turbulence – music therapy is one of those tools that can help keep you balanced when you need it.

A 2015 study published in the Korean Journal of Music Therapy sought to explore the effects of music therapy on triggers, coping skills, motivation, and treatment eagerness of participants in detoxification. Fifty-eight individuals participated in the study, completing pre and post-tests so that the researchers can identify common triggers, coping mechanisms, etc. and assess them throughout the study. The music therapy interventions that participants were involved in included group songwriting where the first line involved substance use and the second line involved abstinence and recovery. Overall, the researchers found that music therapy yielded much higher motivation in those who participated in the music therapy intervention than those who did not; furthermore, the study found that music songwriting in terms of triggers, cravings, and recovery could be beneficial to help motivate individual to remain abstinent.

Music therapy often provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our past, consider our present, and look forward to the future. With music, we often explore emotions that we didn’t know how to express before; this can lead us to new discoveries and therefore, new growth. Music therapy doesn’t typically involve just songwriting, however; it may include: lyrical analysis, listening to music, playing music, composing music, and more.

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about programs and how you can incorporate music therapy into your treatment regime. It’s never too late to begin your journey to recovery.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.