written by About Diane Arkenstone
Music transports you, but can it actually help with healing? It may come as a surprise, but the answer is yes.
Music not only impacts your spirit, but your physical body. Uplifting music can help reduce stress, relax your muscles, lower your blood pressure, slow down breathing, and boost oxytocin.
Music is a powerful tool that can be used to deepen any wellness routine, including enhancing a meditation or yoga practice.
I know from personal experience just how healing music can be, and I’m going to share some insights with you here. Having undergone dozens of major surgeries since childhood, I have leaned on music to heal my body, mind, and soul. Through words and song, I also use my voice with the hope to inspire and heal others.
Healing first starts with showering ourselves with love and kindness. We are then able to hold space for others to heal on their self-love journey.
Love and kindness towards others is more vital than ever right now. It helps create peace within, which is where world peace truly begins, and remains strong.
On that note, let’s dive deeper now into how music can help us all heal.
Music Reduces Pain
Listening to music that transports you, creates a stronger environment for your body to heal.
Studies show that music helps reduce pain by “activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways.” (University of Utah)
This applies to everyday stressors as well as recovery from major surgery. Studies found that listening to music before, during, and after surgery can reduce patient anxiety and pain levels.
Patients who listened to music also reported using less pain medication. (NPR)
Did you know that the human voice also has the power to heal? The vocal vibrations from chanting, humming, and other vocal tones are also quite restorative. I’ve used these methods on myself, and share them in my music. It’s something anybody can do, whether or not you consider yourself a singer.
It can be comforting to hear a human voice, or to even imagine that voice is an Angel watching over us through dark times. It can make us feel less alone.
Ways to Use Songs to Ease Anxiety
Taking a few minutes for yourself can be a powerful way to relieve anxiety and improve focus. Studies have shown that music therapy also improved self-control, social skills, and focus in ADHD patients.
Activities like reading, coloring books, and meditation have all been powerful tools for many people. During any of these activities, you could also add the power of music.
1. Choose music you enjoy!
This may seem obvious, but it’s often not. Some people think they have to listen to a certain kind of music to relieve anxiety, and that’s just not true. Pick songs that match your mood, your style, and that feel right to you.
2. Avoid songs with strong memories
If you listened to it at your high school prom, you’re probably going to flash back to that moment in time. To relieve anxiety, you want to draw yourself more fully in the present. If you aren’t sure about what to select, try choosing new music that you set aside just for this exercise.
3. Try songs without lyrics
Singing along to lyrics may be the perfect release for you. If that works, then you should honor that. However if you find lyrics to be distracting, and invoking too many memories, try listening to instrumental music instead.
Here are a couple of song recommendations to get you started. You can also try out my Healing Music playlist on Spotify.
“Sun Circle” by AH*NEE*MAH
This five minute instrumental song has calming Native American tones, for when you are in need of a quick break.
“Return to Earth” by Diane Arkenstone
Try listening to this song to help you relax before bed. The beautiful sounds of the flute will keep your mind active enough to stay engaged, but relaxed enough to drift off.
Diane Arkenstone is a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist who harnessed the power of music to support her healing journey from open-heart surgery, and over 3o major surgeries since early childhood.
Having grown up on a ranch, Diane would flee from the house, sing, and create music while riding her horse and wandering through the woods.
This is where her connection with music and nature began, and can be heard in many of the songs she creates now as an adult, including “Canyon Dreams” and “Rhythm of the Forest.”