Music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—but music can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation

When I worked at a residential treatment center, I was notified that a child refused to continue meeting with his usual therapist. Even though he was initially hesitant to meet with me, he soon became excited for our music therapy sessions.

In our first session, we decided to look at the lyrics of “Carry On” by FUN. I asked him to explain what it means to be a “shining star,” which is mentioned serval times in the song. I was expecting this 8-year-old to tell me something simple, like “it means you’re special.” But he surprised me when he stated, matter-of-factly: “It means that you are something others notice. It means you are something to look up to, and you are something that helps others navigate.”

And just like that: This lyric offered the opportunity to discuss self-worth, resilience, and strength. Music provided him with the structure and opportunity to process in an engaging way. Soon, his therapist began attending our sessions to help build a healthier therapeutic relationship. His family and teachers reported improved emotion regulation and social interaction skills. Music therapy had provided countless opportunities for building healthy relationships, just as it has for thousands of others.

Try it for yourself! Check out the American Music Therapy Association to find a board certified or licensed music therapist near you.

There’s a couple of songs I really relate to. Nothing as deep as this child’s perspective though. Music really gets the juices going for fitness related things. Good stuff. I’m sure it probably helps you more than me because I really don’t know that much about music. I don’t think anyone has anything bad to write about it.


That’s interesting!
Music helps me a lot. It calms me down, it lifts me up, it makes me smile, it makes me cry.
Some musical pieces give me frisson. It’s one of the most enjoyable sensations I’ve ever experienced.


Music is one of the only ways I feel I can truly express my emotions.

Lyrics, tone, rhythm, melody all translate for me into what I feel. Helps me think, helps me calm down.

Music makes me feel alive.


I usually play music when I’m alone. Guess it’s a sort of company.


Music can trigger me, I found it often to be a catalyst for psychosis to unfold. It can wrap me in that easily.

But when I’m okay, I love my ambient music. Funny, sometimes it helps me to reduce background noises, but sometimes very same music stomps me.


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