How Music Therapy can Improve Mental Heath

When award winning actress Brenda Fricker talked openly about her struggles with depression, she recommended the power of listening to classical music as a form of therapy. Talking to the Irish Examiner she said it is something that “I’d recommend anybody to do.”

Music therapy is a recognized clinical treatment for  depression, coupling music listening and sessions with a psychiatrist.  Brenda Fricker listened to Mozart in particular for two hours a day, and while it wasn’t the complete cure for her depression, it significantly helped.

She identified loneliness as a result of the deaths of close family and friends as the trigger for her depression. Talking to the Irish Independent she said “my sister died and that was the end of my family. I was now an orphan and that does bring an awful loneliness.  And loneliness is loneliness – there’s very little you can do about it. It’s part of life, just like sadness or pain. You have to deal with it”.

Music therapy for everyone

While some may seek professional help for depression, listening to Mozart is something that anyone can do and can benefit from.

 Music Therapy Ireland notes that  “a large body of international research has demonstrated the numerous positive outcomes of Music Therapy for people of all ages and levels of ability.”

Common goals of a Music Therapy treatment plan include:

  • To provide psychological support for people with emotional trauma, physical or mental illness
  • To enhance parent-infant bonding and family relations
  • To promote greater self-awareness
  • To assist in managing behaviour that challenges
  • To assist young children in developing social skills
  • ​To promote emotional regulation for children with Autism
  • To help in stress management
  • To enhance the rehabilitation process for people with traumatic or acquired brain injury
  • To provide comfort to people who receive end-of-life care

Music Listening at Lisheens House

You can also listen to music at Lisheens House, as part of the regular music listening sessions or by dropping in to the centre and playing music for yourself.  There are comfortable chairs, a relaxing atmosphere and a large collection of CDs including Mozart.