Healing Powers of Music


File Photo, Illustration by Julienne Shih

Han Byol Yi

As part of the week-long Blues Project organized by the Peer Education Program, students learned about how music can heal the mind.

Doctor Lori Meono, Psy.D, spoke to about 20 students on the different benefits music has on a person’s mental, emotional, and social health.

“There aren’t a lot of places that allow you to freely express yourself without threats,” Meono said.

She said music is a safe outlet that helps cope with the frustration that many cannot openly discuss.

An example pointed out by Meono is AJ McLean’s song “Sincerely Yours,” which is about family struggles.

“Now the tables have turned
You can learn how to live without me
Live without me
Pictures up on the wall
Suddenly now you’re all about me
All about me
Where were you when I needed you?
The only thing that I learned from you
Was how to walk out the door
Sincerely yours”

  • Sincerely Yours by AJ McLean

Listeners who are able to identify with the song find comfort in its sound and lyrics. Meono said studies have shown expressing one’s self by listening to songs that feel familiar with their own struggles brings positivity to the listener.

Although, music is not only a passive activity. Creators of music also feel a sense of consolation after making the song.

“Imagine how it must have felt to put his [AJ McLean’s] hurts into words,” Meono said.

Music can also be used to enhance moods and motivation. Meono shared an upbeat tempo song by Lupe Fiasco. Fiasco raps about perseverance through whatever circumstance in “The Show Goes On.”

Juan Sandoval, 28, a senior studying psychology, said he will look into music that can help him study after hearing Meono’s presentation.

“A friend once showed me a study playlist on Itunes radio. I didn’t look into but now I might check it out,” Sandoval said.

One can visit www.musictherapy.org or search Music Therapy at www.APA.org to learn more about how music can help with healing.