Let Music Do the Talking
In my sessions, I ask patients what they do to cope when they get frustrated, because living life on life’s terms can get frustrating from time to time. One of the biggest challenges is finding a way to deal with that frustration without resorting to the bottle, needle or spoon.
When I ask for coping skills, music is often acknowledged. Think about it. How many times have you turned the music up as loud as you can and sung at the top of your lungs after a bad break-up? C’mon, don’t pretend like you haven’t blasted the radio to “You Give Love a Bad Name” or “Since U Been Gone.” I’ve experienced it myself. Music has a way of reflecting inner anguish and bringing a sense of relief.
I can recall patients who experienced the power of musical expression while in drug and alcohol treatment. While listening to a song in our music therapy group, one of the patients became uncomfortable because the song topic struck an area that she was used to avoiding. After the session was over, the usually very quiet and anxious patient asked to sing a song. She wanted something loud. So I turned on The Cranberries and we sang and danced around the room together.
Relief flooded her face and she thanked me for allowing her to express inner pain and anxiety through music. Instead of bottling up those uncomfortable emotions, she was able to use music to release some of the things she was used to stuffing inside. So next time you’re feeling frustrated, try a dose of your favorite music.