Getting Through the Holidays Can Be Hard, But Music Therapy is Here to Help!

Everyone Struggles With Anxiety or Depression During the Holidays at Some Point, and Music Therapy is an Excellent Solution for This

The holidays are a stressful time for us all. No matter what kind of holidays you observe this season, the arrival of family members, purchasing presents and making meals can all be such demanding tasks. These high stress times often leave us feeling like we have no outlet for the anxiety we may be experiencing. If this is the case for you, music therapy is a great way to address this. With Incadence, you don’t need to worry about finding a music therapist that you can meet with in person (which is so convenient if you are traveling for the holidays). Incadence offers music therapy sessions online through video calls. 

Even if you don’t observe any winter time holidays, these colder months are still particularly rough for many. Seasonal affective disorder (aptly shortened to S.A.D) affects so many individuals. If you are struggling with any of the issues mentioned above, (anxiety or depression due to the holidays, or seasonal affective disorder) then music therapy is a great way to approach those concerns. 

Here is what you can find in this blog post on how music therapy can help you through the holidays: 

  • What effect does holiday music have on us?
  • How can all kinds of music help us through the holidays?  
  • Forms of music therapy that can help you through the holidays  
man cutting into a piece of meat at a candlelit dinner table with his family
Sometimes holiday music can bring back great memories for us. For some though, holiday music can be a bit of a sore spot, bringing back certain painful memories, or maybe you have no connection to holiday music at all. 

What effect does holiday music have on us?

For some people, holiday music is a great source of joy. It can help us feel cozy and nostalgic, taking us back to happy memories of past holiday seasons with friends and family. If holiday music makes you feel festive and grateful for holiday seasons past, then hearing those songs is an amazing thing. However, if holiday music triggers some less than pleasant memories for you, then hearing it everywhere you go during the holiday season can end up being an added pressure.

Music is incredibly powerful when it comes to triggering our memories. During the holidays, this can be a great thing or an incredibly painful and unwanted thing. Everyone has a different relationship to the holiday season and to the memories that they have of the holidays. If you are interested in going to music therapy for any kind of seasonal anxiety or depression, it is a great option to consider.

In fact, going to music therapy and listening to( or composing) music could be a good way to help get your mind off of all the holiday songs you are hearing. Your music therapist will want to work with you as much as they can to find tools that help you cope with anxiety or depression that you may be experiencing. One music therapist spoke about their time running a music therapy session during the holidays, and how they altered their approach with holiday music, to help make a client feel more comfortable.

Parents and two children sitting in a kids room in front of a lit menorah
Everyone has a different relationship with the holidays, maybe you don’t observe one, but no matter if you do or don’t, music therapy is a great way to address any kind of anxiety you may be feeling no matter the season.

How can all kinds of music help us through the holidays?

Many kinds of music can help us at different times of year, but especially during the holiday season when we are likely to be experiencing more stress or feelings of depression. It does not have to necessarily be "holiday music." Therefore, music of any kind can be a fantastic resource for you in coping with some of these feelings. 

If you are a lover of holiday music, then listening to some of your favorite tunes with your music therapist is a great resource when it comes to dealing with holiday stress. You can learn to play your own favorite holiday tune or create a playlist of some of your very favorite holiday songs. 

If you’re not a fan of holiday music, (or the holidays in general) that’s no problem either! Your music therapist will work with you to find whatever way is best to tackle your concerns. This music therapy site lists some great ways of dealing with holiday stress, that do not include holiday music. This proves that if you have no interest in the holidays then you need not worry about going to a music therapist around this special time of year. You will still be able to get something out of the experience and you will not be forced to listen to holiday tunes. 

Parents and two children sitting at a table drinking tea
Especially because the holidays usually mean big family gatherings for many of us this can be a time that is incredibly stressful, let music therapy ease some of that holiday anxiety you may be experiencing.

Forms of music therapy that can help you through the holidays

Music therapy aims to help you express your emotions through a creative and engaging format. Since making, playing, and listening to music is such an enjoyable experience for almost all people, this makes music therapy a low stress environment for people to discuss their anxieties or feelings of depression. The introduction of music into therapy gives most people a way to enter into a therapy session feeling more comfortable than they  might normally.

If you aren’t a fan of most holiday music, your music therapist can work with you to make up some of your own holiday tunes. There are many ways for a music therapist to engage with you in a session that acknowledge the holiday season, but if you aren’t interested in doing that, they can work with you without bringing the holidays into the picture as well! 

All in all, a music therapist is there for you and if you are struggling through the holidays,they will want to work with you to find whatever path is best in dealing with holiday stress. 

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 15, 2021

Lily Taggart
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