Music and Mood

- Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The beneficial effects of music on mood has been known for thousands of years, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato said:

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, 
and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

and Shakespeare said:

If music be the food of love, play on

Music is used in films to create the mood to go with the pictures, by military bands to inspire and give confidence, at sporting events to rouse the crowds, by dentists to reduce stress, by children to help them learn their letters and numbers and at shopping malls to encourage you to stay longer and shop more. Modern research supports the old wisdom of music benefiting mood and confidence.

We all have different tastes in music but generally know that happy music helps lift the mood of people suffering with depression, soothing music will help stress, mothers sing lullabies to help their children go to sleep, calming music can help people cope better with the pain caused by serious illness such as cancer or Multiple Sclerosis, reduce anxiety and low mood.  Care Homes play music from the youth of older people with dementia to stimulate their brains and music therapy is widely used to help people with severe mental illness, trauma and behavioral problems.


Learning to play a musical instrument  or picking up one again you learnt many years ago can also be very beneficial in helping reduce stress and anxiety, especially if you can play with a group and have fun with others too.  See if your local community college offers low cost lessons; libraries often have details of local teachers and bands too.  Practicing your instrument (as any musician will tell you) is vital for making progression but also adds to your routine in a positive way. 

Now we do understand that certain songs or tunes can trigger sad thoughts, memories or feelings. Some people find having a 'happy song' they can swap to and sing in their head or even out loud is a good way of dealing with the situation when the one song you don't want to hear comes on the radio. 
In the musical 'The King and I' Anna tells one of the children she is Governess to:- 

“Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune, so no one will suspect I’m afraid…
And every single time,
the happiness in the tune convinces me that I’m not afraid.”

If you would like to talk (or sing!) to an Options counsellor about your worries,

   Get in touch today via our TwitterFacebook or the contact form on our website.

The Options Team.

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