It is believed that music is food for the soul. The idea that it is a perfect alternative treatment is an understatement. When you get chills each time you listen to a particular song, it means a chemical known as dopamine is released. As an individual, you can identify with a specific genre in music, giving you the chance to listen to as many songs as you can.
How is music therapeutic?
Did you know that your physical, mental, and social wellbeing can be influenced by music? Artistes may not qualify as clinical therapists, but their work of art act as perfect tools to aid in treatment and get emotional support. Since it provides an alternative way to express your feeling, you will start developing a positive attitude towards life. Listening to a song or two daily will shorten your journey towards recovery.
The relationship between music therapy and sobriety
Addiction treatment may involve medical and nonmedical interventions to prevent you from going through a relapse. Studies have proven that nonmedical interventions such as music therapy, physical exercises, engaging in community work, and attending counseling sessions have more impact compared to the latter.
When a recovering addict listens or engages in music, all their biological, cognitive, and social needs are addressed. Most therapists often vouch for music as a perfect holistic tool that can make you experience many benefits that support your current condition as stated below:
Allows you to express yourself
Most addicts tend to develop vices such as lying, living in denial, being irrational, and anger to justify their habits. Many are times where the victim may lie to get their way. The decision to stop using should come from the individual after seeing sense in quitting.
Quitting substance abuse involves a series of actions to prevent the recovering addict from being idle. Through it, you will become a rational person who isn’t afraid of expressing your emotions succinctly. Your emotional state will be ease, giving you the chance to express and accept your feelings as they come.
Ignites self-expression self-actualization
During addiction, you are unable to express yourself. People may judge your honest intentions wrongly, but once you stop using, they will start having an in-depth understanding of your character. Self-actualization makes you understand yourself more than anyone else. Be it songwriting, listening to music, or playing a different instrument, you can comfortably express your emotions without getting bias judgment.
As a recovering addict, your self-esteem may be compromised. You will start doubting your self-worth in people’s lives, but all that can change through music. Not only does it increase your esteem, but it will also prevent you from going through a relapse. You will start feeling good about yourself and make new friends who have your interest at heart.
Naturally, a recovering addict may experience stressful situations, including withdrawal situations, loss of friends, and employment. They may start believing they are worthless and go back to their old habits- using again. Only a strong-willed individual who has undergone both situations may learn to cope and manage their stress.
One way to avoid stress is by listening to music. You can also learn to write songs, play a favorite instrument, or sing, providing a perfect alternative towards stress that may be piling up. Search within you to discover what you love doing. Is it singing or dancing? Once you find what works for you, then go along with it.
How to use music to boost your recovery
Did you know that most successful artists such as Kirk Franklin were former addicts? After hitting rock bottom, he decided to venture into gospel music to aid his recovery process. Since then, he has never looked back. Just like him, you can easily use music to support your recovery process with or without professional assistance. Here are a few methods you can use to help you stay sober;
Play an instrument
You don’t have to be a perfect guitarist, pianist, or drum master to make it in the music scene. But you can learn how to play these instruments for the fun of it. Not only will it provide feelings of pleasure, but it will also help you mingle with other likeminded people.
Customize your favorite playlist
Find out the types of songs you enjoy listening and create a playlist.
Be a songwriter
Anybody can be a songwriter as long as they feel inspired. Get a journal and express your thoughts in the form of a song, then see how it impacts your life.
Everybody is going through stressful situations you included. Being a former addict doesn’t make you a bad person. You can still use music to boost your mood, express your emotions, meditate, and to get a message. After listening or playing music, your self-esteem will be heightened and the connections to others will be increased.