All of us have been here at some point: You’re running errands or walking about and a string of words poetically recorded in synchronization to instrumental echoes flutter thru the breeze and into your head. In one ear and out the other, music leaves this immutable trace of its presence in all forms of its wake. The beautiful thing about it is that despite your listening tastes, there is a form of music for everyone out there. This is why there’s chocolate and vanilla for those who get a different tingle from different jingles. Whatever your walk of life, the hills are alive with the sound of music.
Music for many is considered the international language of love. It’s a means by which we communicate and process feelings and emotions much of the time. Artistic expression in one of its finest forms as it provokes the soul. This makes music in sobriety a key instrument in the journey for recovery- pun definitely intended. Using the sorcery power of music in sobriety is as therapeutic of an approach as any other. The hums and echoes can stronghold or provoke any emotion intended as we harness that energy in early sobriety.
In Harmony with Addiction
As prevalent as music is in the many existing cultures across the globe, it makes sense that it could be instrumental in addiction recovery as well. In fact, studies have shown that incorporating music into the recovery process often means better outcomes. Pasadena Recovery Center understands the vital role music plays for many of our clients and features music therapy for those wishing to explore this outlet.
You can incorporate music in sobriety into your therapy in a variety of ways:
- Write Music– Even if you have never written a song before, sometimes crafting your feelings or experiences into a musical piece makes it easier to express them.
- Learn to Play an Instrument – The process of learning an instrument engages the brain in ways that will enhance brain function overall, even repairing some of the damage caused by substance use and abuse.
- Listen to Music – The simple act of listening to different styles of music can help you manage and communicate your emotions, meditate, relieve stress and provide motivation. Creating different playlists for different purposes provide you with the music you need for any situation that might arise.
- Use Music to Meditate – Meditation is beneficial in addiction recovery, but it can be challenging to train your mind to focus on meditation after long-term substance abuse. Music can help to center your mind, preparing you for more in-depth meditation exercises as time goes on.
- Join a Drumming Group – Drumming has been found to reduce stress and provide you with a positive way to spend your free time. Drumming with a group also gives you a sense of belonging, as well as the opportunity to meet others that enjoy the activity.
Staff Spotlight: Butch Warner
Butch Warner, our psychotherapist, and addiction specialist at Pasadena has been serving clients at Pasadena Recovery Center since 2004. His vast background in music, both as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, has equipped him to bring music therapy to our center. He started the program to teach clients more effective methods of communication, and it has been a popular option on our regular schedule since that time. Butch is one of the many to recognize the authority that music in sobriety can provide in introspection with early recovery.
A Duet with Addiction
Music therapy has been defined by the American Music Therapy Association as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.” Scientists have found that music is a way to teach communication and expression of feelings to the people that have long used substances to lock away those emotions and reactions.
Essentially the right order of notes can stir up something very potent inside. Addicts and alcoholics are prone to numbing away reality, but the plethora of chemicals used to mask unwarranted emotions isn’t permanent. Music in sobriety can help to dissolve the walls put up in active addiction we give it authority.
By reclaiming your ability to feel and communicate, you break free of the addiction chains and learn healthier ways to relate the world and those around you. A number of studies have found that music has a positive effect on the brain. In fact, music therapy can repair some of the damage caused by substance abuse by enhancing brain function and reclaiming the reward systems within the brain. Harvard scientists specifically found in 2001 that music does indeed have healing power on the brain and can restore brain function after a substance abuse disorder left impairment behind.
Listening Over Hearing
In addition to its healing abilities on brain function, music in sobriety can offer the following benefits to clients in addiction recovery programs:
- Enhance relaxation and lower stress levels overall
- Improve symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Encourages and supports healthy feelings and thoughts
- Provides a way to express feelings
- Increases concentration and problem-solving skills
- Improves self-image and self-esteem
On a physiological level, music can even lower blood pressure and reduce muscle tension. Many use the influence of music in sobriety through a multitude of different activities. It’s common to find many addicts and alcoholics listening, singing along, or playing songs to help cope with early sobriety. Music in sobriety causes us to listen to things that would ordinarily not cross the threshold of our thought patterns.
The wonderful gift helps with the atonement of introspection and the perceptions of others as enjoyment embraces the principles of recovery. The inspiration of music can cause the greatest of revelations if given the chance. Whether you use upbeat music to improve your mood and increase energy levels, or softer music to soothe your soul, music offers a myriad of positive results to those who listen to it regularly.
Tuning in the Help
Incorporating music into your treatment program is just one healthy step on the way to recovery. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need a drug and alcohol treatment center, please call 1-866-663-3030 or visit www.pasadenarecoverycenter.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.