Tag Archives: Music

The Power of Self-Expression: Art and Music Therapy in Recovery

Woman expressing herself through painting

If you are someone you know is recovering from addiction, you may need a way to stop the cycle of negative thoughts and self-destructive behaviors. Music and art therapy  can be part of successful treatment plan.  Creative expression has been used for years in either individual or group counseling. Art therapy is used in rehab centers, hospitals, schools, and other settings for recovery. Many people who do not respond well to more traditional treatments have success with music and art therapy.

Self-expression

Communication and self-expression issues are common among people with substance abuse problems. Creative communication can help people in recovery process their thoughts and feelings in a positive way. Often, those who suffer from addiction have trouble making sense of their emotions. And,  they struggle with how people respond to them. Creativity opens new avenues of understanding and helps people learn new thoughts, responses, and behavior patterns.

Art benefits for recovery

People often deny the need for help and may resist treatment.  Art therapy can help overcome this because art therapy can motivate people. They may want to achieve a healthier lifestyle, gain more self-confidence, and improve communication skills. Music is often used to help overcome depression, stress, anxiety and anger or rage issues. Those emotional responses often produce unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

Music as therapy

Listening to and playing music creates a certain response in the brain. It stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine which causes an overall sense of well-being. Music can help people be more likely to seek treatment, and more likely to continue toward recovery. Also, music therapy can increase positive feelings and self-awareness. Then, people can cope better with temptations and frustrations that come from addictions.

When listening to their favorite music, people experience a stimulation of the auditory cortex in anticipation of their favorite musical passages. And then, the feeling of exultation at its peak has a powerfully healing impact. Sometimes our brain helps us experience music even when we’re not actually listening to it or performing it.

Self-discovery

Art and music therapy help you get in touch with your feelings. They also help you learn to accept yourself, and decrease feelings of guilt and shame. The goal is to create a sense of happiness and hope through painting, sculpting, coloring, drawing, collages, or other artwork. Be very creative as you express every aspect of your emotions, both positive and negative.

Art in recovery

For the best results, continue art and music therapy even after formal treatment is done.  As they help to relieve stress, they can help you cope with depression, and fend off the temptation to use again.

At your home, choose art and music that expresses your emotions and helps your mood. According to HomeAdvisor, “Everyone deserves to have their own space for their passion project, be it a crafting station or simply a place to journal. Look around your home with a creative eye, and you’ll realize that much of what you need to create your ideal hobby workshop is already nearby and can be easily converted.” Staying sober or free of addictions is an ongoing struggle. It’s important to find a way to cope with the emotional chaos and pressures that make recovery so difficult.

Guest article by Kim Thomas of US Health Corps posted 8-12-18.

Updated for readability 5-25-20 by Mary Knutson

Suggested links:  https://healthvista.net/inspirational-music/
or https://healthvista.net/inspirational-music-for-teens/

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Inspirational Music for Coping

Musical notes of a song written on paper

Music can help with coping:

I developed a list of old and new songs from many different kinds of music. Some of these songs and their lyrics could be helpful inspirational music for coping or healing during recovery.

Getting started:

First, try to find all of these songs from the Inspirational Music List on www.YouTube.com and chose the versions that have lyrics on the screen so you can follow the words. The songs are appropriate for adults, but there is another list available for teens at Inspirational Music for Teens. Avoid any that have upsetting images (if you watch the music videos). Play the ones you like as often as you want to, as one of your ways of coping.

  • A Little Bit Stronger – by Sara Evans
  • Alive Again – by Matt Maher
  • Anyway – by Martina McBride
  • Breakaway – by Kelly Clarkson
  • Coming Out of the Dark – by Gloria Estefan
  • Count on Me – by Default
  • Dare You to Move – by Switchfoot
  • Dear Prudence – by Beatles
  • Ever Since the World Began – by Survivor
  • Eye of the Tiger – by Survivor
  • Fix You – by Coldplay
  • If You Just Believe (from The Polar Express soundtrack) – by Josh Groban
  • Invincible – by Muse
  • Hero – by Mariah Carey
  • I Believe I Can Fly (from Space Jam soundtrack) – by R. Kelly
  • I Hope You Dance – by Lee Ann Womack
  • I Want to Live – by John Denver
  • I Will Survive – by Gloria Gaynor
  • I Won’t Let Go – by Rascal Flatts
  • Keep Your Mind Wide Open (from Bridge to Teribithia soundtrack) – Anna Sophia Robb
  • It’s My Life – by Bon Jovi
  • Landslide – by Fleetwood Mac
  • Let Me Be Myself – by 3 Doors Down
  • Little Wonders (From Meet the Robinsons soundtrack) – by Rob Thomas
  • Never Surrender – by Corey Hart
  • One Step at a Time – by Jordin Sparks
  • Peace Train – by Cat Stevens
  • Reach – by Gloria Estefan
  • Simple Man – by Lynyrd Skynard
  • The Circle of Life (from The Lion King soundtrack) – by Elton John
  • The Climb – by Miley Cyrus
  • The Rose – by Bette Midler
  • Times Like These – by Foo Fighters
  • Unwritten – by Natasha Bedingfield
  • You Raise Me Up (from Secret Garden soundtrack) – by Brian Kennedy and Josh Grobin
  • Win – by Brian McKnight

Enjoy the Music!

Reflection:

What other songs have been inspirational, healing, or comforting to you?

Are there some other songs that you think should be added to this list?

Feel free to contact Mary Knutson to recommend more songs.

 

The songs above were recommended by Mary Knutson RN, Joyce Clark RN, and the following websites or blogs:

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f34/songs-that-inspire-you-to-overcome-adversity-96939/

http://able2know.org/topic/151427-1

http://celestinechua.com/blog/inspirational-songs/

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/what-recovery/28260-songs-about-addiction-recovery-post-your-recommendations.html

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/substance-abuse/159830-inspirational-songs.html

 

Blog #5  10-28-15 by Mary Knutson RN, MSN of Health Vista, Inc.

Updated 5-25-20

Inspirational Music for Teens

Musical notes for song written on paper

Music can help with coping:

I developed a list of old and new songs  for teenagers from many different kinds of music. Some of these songs and their lyrics could be helpful inspirational music for teens who need.  Music can help with coping and healing during recovery.

Sometimes the music that teen choose to listen too can be edgy or dark and brooding because it matches their mood.  It may feel like the music “understands” their anxiety, depression, or anger. But, music with a positive message would be more effective in the long run.  The following songs on YouTube.com were chosen by other teens.

Getting started with inspirational music:

First, try to find all of these songs from the Inspirational Music for Teens on www.YouTube.com and chose the versions that have lyrics on the screen so you can follow the words. The songs are appropriate for adults, but avoid any that have upsetting images (if you watch the music videos). Play the ones you like as often as you want to, as one of your ways of coping.

Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

Breathe by He is We

Fix You by Coldplay

Never Let Go by David Chowder Band

There is a Way by Newworldson

Everything by Lifehouse

Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson

You Are More by Tenth Avenue North

Blackbird by the Beatles

Stand by Rascal Flatts

I Won’t Let Go by Rascal Flatts

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Anyway by Martina McBride

Skyscraper by Demi Lovato

Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift

A River Flows in You by Yiruma

Vanilla Twilight by Owl City

I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz

K’Naan Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix)

Brand New Me by Alicia Keyes

Hall of Fame by The Script

Enjoy the music!

Reflection:

What other songs have been inspirational, healing, or comforting to you?

Are there some other songs that you think should be added to this list?

Feel free to contact Mary Knutson to recommend more songs.

Blog #4 written 10-28-15 by Mary Knutson RN, MSN of Health Vista, Inc.

Updated 5-26-20