Ask a Career Coach: What music can do for your mental health

Ask a Career Coach: What music can do for your mental health
11 February 2021    Tammy Sofranic    0 comments
Has all this pandemic stuff got you in a slump? Do you feel like your mental health is on another level? Well, you're not alone. We have all felt the impact of isolation and restrictions, along with radical changes in the world's general health, social and economic wellbeing.

The times may be challenging, but it does not mean that our hands are tied and that we must sit, suffer and woe the days away. What if I told you that taking care of your mental health doesn’t have to include uncomfortable conversations, tears or blogging? That's right, there is another way! Opening up your Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube playlist is a legit tool to help improve or manage your mental health. 

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Most of us think of music as entertainment, but there is a lot more to it than #goodvibes and fun. If you've never heard of music therapy before, now is the time. The Australian Music Therapy Association describes music therapy as a research-based allied health profession in which music is used to actively support people as they aim to improve their health, functioning and well-being. It can help people of all ages to manage their physical and mental health and enhance their quality of life. With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that this method has been gaining popularity over the years.
However, even without going to therapy, music can still serve as a healing tool.

By now you must be wondering, what can it help with? Here are just a few examples to get started with:  

1. Mood booster

Lucky for us, a lot of research around the impact music can have your mental health has been conducted. Regardless of how broad and diverse research groups have been, most of them prove the same thing – listening to music undoubtedly has the power to change moods and help people process their feelings, which in turn, leads to an improved mood.

Lost your way? Here's 6 tips to get you life back on track.

So whenever you're feeling grumpy, annoyed or just flat, turn on some #GoodVibes and boost your mood. It's easy to stay wallowing in your sorrows, and it's important to recognise them when they're there. But, it's just as important to get up, get out and get going. Hence, to do that, blast up your favourite tunes and start thriving.


2. Anxiety reduction

Feeling anxious about that exam or heading into a new social situation? Music can also prep you for that. Multiple studies have taught us that music can play a very important role in anxiety reduction. One study has shown that even people in rehab who have been recovering from a stroke, reported feeling more relaxed after just an hour of listening to music. Further research indicated that music blended with nature sounds helped with anxiety reduction. In some studies, even participants facing critical illness reported less anxiety after music therapy.

So what can you learn from this? No matter the situation, big or small, plug in those earphones or turn on Google home to get you zoning out and into a better head space. Block out your distractions, turn off from the world and find your inner zen. 

3. Sharpened focus

When we are unable to focus, we tend to feel more stuck and sluggish, which then reflects and shows in our mood. Next time you find yourself constantly drifting, put some tunes on and see what happens. Keep in mind though, that not all music improves focus. To find out more about what kind of tunes and beats will help the most, check out music that can help you focus.

Need other ways to find focus?

4. Relaxation

We are living in stressful and fast paced times, so we could benefit from a little bit of relaxation, right? It’s no ground-breaking news that listening to music is a great way to relax. After all, why would we play it at parties, weddings and all other kinds of events? Well, to boost mood, connect and relax. So next time you are going through stress or had a stressful day, don’t forget that you have music available (literally at your fingertips: thanks technology) to help you with that.
Now, whether you are keen to pursue music therapy or want to use music on your own, there are numerous benefits to it for your mental health. Improved mood, emotions, anxiety, focus or motivation are only some of the ways it can serve. With all this knowledge, you can go ahead and press that play button and let the beats do the rest!

Curious about music? Keen to see if it's something you could do with you career? Test yourself with our Job Fit Test to find out if it's the right job match for you!

Skillsroad Career Quiz

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