We normally listen to music to improve our mood or de-stress, but did you know that music can actually help improve both your physical and mental health?

Enter music therapy, a type of treatment that’s been proven to aid in physical rehab, provide emotional support, and promote a healthy expression of feelings — whether it’s through songwriting, making music, or simply listening to music. Anyone and everyone can benefit from it including patients with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and autistic children.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of music therapy.

Promotes mental health
Research shows that music therapy is an effective tool in helping people struggling with depression. According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), music therapy can reduce muscle tension, increase self-esteem, decrease anxiety, enhance interpersonal relationships, increase motivation, and provide a successful and safe space for emotional release.

Reduces pain
Turns out, music therapy is a common tool for aiding chronic pain in pain management centers. The sensory response to music can promote relaxation, lessen the perceived amount of pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost mood.

Improves communication skills
For children and adults on the autism spectrum, music therapy is a common technique used by therapists as it helps build connections and trust by encouraging verbalization, vocalization, and comprehension. It can help increase confidence, lower anxiety, and expand social, cognitive, or motor skills, sensory issues, and self-reliance or self-determination.

Boosts memory and brain activity
Studies show that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients experience improved memory after singing classic hits from movies and musicals because music evokes emotions, which trigger memories. Music also stimulates all parts of the brain and promotes interactions and positive moods.

Relieves stress
Yep, something as simple as listening to music can help relieve stress. Slow, quiet classical music has the ability to slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease levels of stress hormones.

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xx, The FabFitFun Team