Stressed Out? Music is the Cure!

Image: Stephen McLeod Blythe – Muzak

Stephanie Olano
ACS Outpatient Counseling Program Clinical Intern

Music has played a very important role in my life. From the time I was 10-years-old I could list the various bands that were heavily influenced by The Beatles. Adults found this impressive, but I found this knowledge strange and confusing because they had never heard of The Beatles. What no one understood were my intentions of listening to music.

It was during this time I was really stressed out. So I listened to music to help me cope. Now there’s an app for that. Many researchers have explained the benefits about listening to music when one feels stressed. Researchers have confidently stated music can improve anxiety in hospital patients before and even after surgery. There is a new frontier of research that if trying to figure out if music can help relieve physical, chronic pain. Listening to music can even relieve depression and increase self-esteem.

To help manage anxiety, Researchers at Kent State University have devised an app to help measure stress levels in teenagers. “To counteract stress, the teens are given iPods with the installed app. Kent State student researchers also visit the Buchtel Community Learning Center on a regular basis to work with the teens as a group.”

Together, they talk about techniques that replace negative thoughts with positive ones in hopes of changing behaviors. “Before the teens open the app, they create positive keywords about who they want to be. They use those words to write their own theme song and record it on the app using a tune from their favorite artist.”

This app helps teenagers recognize when they feel stressed and how to counteract the negative thoughts that come with it. One researcher said, “If you learn how to manage your stress and anxiety [early on], it makes a profound difference in your life going forward.”

So in effort to relieve stress here are a few tracks you can listen to now:

I highly recommend Angels by The XX first.

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