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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Music & Addiction: Neurological Benefits

music neurological benefits for addiction recovery
Music has long been considered a natural anti-depressant, an emotional outlet, a creative stimulus, and a tension reducer. Many studies discuss the benefit of music on physical, mental, and emotional health, and this may be especially important for people in addiction recovery.

“There is growing scientific evidence showing that the brain responds to music in very specific ways,” said Lisa Hartling, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta. Hartling and her colleagues conducted a study with pediatric emergency room patients, finding that children who listened to music were able to relax better during IV insertion: reporting less pain and demonstrating less distress.

Music has also been found in several studies to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels and lower symptoms of acute pain, which also holds promise for clients going through rehab and early addiction recovery.

Benefits of Music Therapy for Addiction in Young Adults 


  1. Music can give clients an outside focus when they are going through uncomfortable or painful withdrawal symptoms. 
  2. Listening to music or creating music can relieve stress and reduce tension throughout all phases of rehab. 
  3. The right kind of music gives clients an opportunity to purge unhealthy emotions and adopt a healthier outlook. 
  4. Music is a hobby. It can relieve boredom (a common relapse trigger) and fill in gaps of time that were previously filled by drinking or using.
  5. Music gives you a topic of conversation and a shared common interest with new, sober friends.

Music Therapy for Addiction


Many addiction specialists are using the power of music to impact recovering drug and alcohol users. Depending upon the client and instructor, the therapy may include “creating” or listening to music. At Red Oak Recovery®, we administer music and sound therapy during weekly acupuncture sessions. The combination of these holistic therapies helps clients to feel refreshed and relaxed after the treatment is complete. To learn more about our alternative treatments and music therapy options, call 866.831.9107 today.

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