When someone thinks of music therapy, they might just think sitting with a psychiatrist singing or playing an instrument. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Music therapists, though only requiring a bachelors degree and certification from the American Music Therapy Association to start work, are beneficial if you need them. They are therapists, but fall under recreational therapy in that sense. They do need to know what is wrong, but they don't need you to talk about it. This group of people will work alongside other therapists, such as art, physical, and occupational. If you're unsure of their credentials and feel that you could cure yourself, you may have already tried some of their techniques. The four examples below are only a few of the examples that are seen in a standard session, and there are many more different ways.
1. Listening to your favorite song.
Most times, if we need a pick-me-up, we can always count on our favorite song to put a smile on your face. This is due to neurological connections to dopamine. Let's say that you're having the worst day possible, the radio is blasting, and your favorite song starts to play. Even though you're pissed off at the world, you will, without a doubt, start singing along. Even if it's for that few minutes, your mood shifts.
This one is a little far-fetched but bear with me. Though music therapy is mainly used with voice and instruments, dancing to a song that puts you in good mood is therapeutic. Whether it be in your living room or an actual dance studio, letting off some steam can make your mood do a complete 180. Zumba is a great example. Having an outlet to let out some stress, have a good time, and listen to fun music is the perfect recipe for a better mood.
3. Playing an instrument.
This applies to everyone, even if you can't play an instrument. Simply teaching yourself, though stressful at times, is actually very relaxing. Hearing the clean, harmonious sounds of a piano, guitar, or flute can ease anyone's mind. This is also helpful if you are used to physical therapy. Having a new form of exercise that you either knew before or are learning is a way to use muscles in your body that need the extra attention. Practices like these are done everywhere, especially in hospital settings after surgeries.
4. Going to a concert.
This is probably the hardest to achieve of the four, but it's definitely the most fun example. The anticipation leading up to seeing your favorite performer will not only set you up to have a good mood for a while but prepares you for the actual show. Being surrounded by people who love the same thing as you and want to feel the same way is a breath of fresh air. You might lose your voice, but it will be worth the high you'll receive.
By now, you might have noticed that you've used any or all of the four examples in your own life. Though these are good short-term resolutions, seeking a professional, licensed music therapist is important for your health.