This Is Your Brain on Music: The Relationship Between Music and Mental Health


We’ve all ben there. You’re having a terrible day, so you pop your headphones in and play your favorite song.

Soon, your ears are buzzing with the sounds of your favorite artist and your mood begins to change, you may even find yourself dancing along to the song. Music has a strong effect on mood and mental health. In fact, one study found that music’s main function is to bring pleasure to the listener.1 So it’s no surprise that your favorite music can put you in a good mood. Music can also improve overall mental health and help you through drug addiction treatment in Gilman.

How Does Music Affect Mental Health?

Music is proven to help elevate mood and can even reduce the severity of mood disorders such as depression.2 A comforting, familiar, or soothing song can help listeners feel a stronger sense of togetherness, understanding, and deeper positive feelings.3 Physically, listening to music can help promote better mental health by boosting the listener’s immune system, lowering stress hormones, and strengthening neurons through memory or language processing.4

When you put all these pieces together, you can see how powerful music is for mental health and even overall health. There’s a positive relationship between music and mental health, with music supporting improved mental health by improving the listener’s mood, lowering stress hormones, and firing positive neurons associated with language or happy memories.

An Approach for Music and Mental Health Recovery

We encourage all patients utilizing our addiction recovery services near Bloomington to bring music into their recovery. This can include simply listening to a playlist for mental health, listening to familiar and happy songs, or participating in music therapy programs. There are many benefits of music therapy such as improved mental health and a greater sense of control over one’s own emotions and recovery.

New music therapy approaches are utilizing specific types of music to pinpoint regions within the brain that fire when that music is playing. Early research indicates that specific types of music can help improve sensorimotor, language, and cognitive functions in patients.5

Music can improve mood, mental health, and it can help support full recovery for patients at our center for drug addiction treatment in Gilman.

We invite you to learn more about our programs for residential drug treatment in Heartland, call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our programs.


  1. NCBI – The psychological functions of music listening
  2. Healthy Children – Music and Mood
  3. Oxford Academic – Toward Understanding Music Therapy as a Recovery-Oriented Practice within Mental Health Care: A Meta-Synthesis of Service Users' Experiences
  4. WRAP – The Healing Power of Music
  5. NCBI – Music therapy for mental disorder and mental health: the untapped potential of Indian classical music
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.