For anyone who’s ever made their own mood playlist, it’s no secret that music can make you calm, can help improve your mood and can speak to you in ways nothing else can. Seventh century playwright William Congreve once wrote, “Music has charms to soothe the savage breast.” Music therapy is a rehabilitation tool that’s known to change the way we think and feel and helps bring about emotional growth. For those going through addiction recovery, learning a new instrument is one form of music therapy that reaps multiple benefits.
Improves Brain Function
Repeated drug and alcohol use often leads to memory loss and an inability to concentrate, but playing an instrument helps improve function in those areas of the brain that are related to memory, communication, emotions and rewards. Which means music may reverse some of the damage caused by addiction. Harvard Medical School studies have shown that individuals who learn how to play a musical instrument have an increased ability to memorize tasks than they did before.
Learning how to play an instrument takes time and dedication, and discipline is one trait someone going through recovery must have in order to remain sober. Just a few minutes a day dedicated to playing can reap big results.
Boosting Your Mood
One bad day can trigger relapse and feelings of hopelessness for someone in addiction recovery. Music releases dopamine, which is a mood enhancing chemical that causes pleasure. Learning a new instrument provides a feeling of pleasure associated with a reward. Instead of turning to drugs and alcohol for those feel-good moments, an individual learning an instrument can receive the same pleasurable feelings through music.
Feelings of Self Accomplishment
Recovery is often challenging because it can take weeks, months and sometimes years for an individual to be completely free from addiction. Patience is needed when going through the steps, just like patience is needed when learning to play an instrument. With patience and dedication, playing an instrument provides feelings of self-gratification and accomplishment.
Offers a Distraction
Learning to play an instrument takes focus and concentration. It helps you take your mind off other things, including problems and issues that may be bothering you. Healthy habits provide excellent distractions when your mind has an urgency to reach for drug or alcohol use and instead places your efforts elsewhere.
Choosing a Treatment Plan
If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, Hickory Treatment Centers can help. We offer several treatment options, including detox and residential and outpatient programs to best suit your needs.
For more information on our programs and how you can get started, contact our admissions counselors at 1-800-604-2117. We are available 24 hours a day to answer questions.