Music Therapy for Depression

How Does Music Affect the Cognitive Function of Individuals Suffering From Depression?

Image courtesy of Express.

Depression is a very common anxiety disorder that disrupts the lives of many people worldwide. This disorder is crippling and can present in both physical and mental disability. Music has been known to do wonders for many mental disorders, particularly depression. With music’s ability to significantly improve mood, music can tremendously reduce depressive symptoms. 

This article will discuss:

  • The definition of depression and its symptoms
  • How music affects the cognitive function of people suffering from depression
  • The benefits of music therapy
  • What services Incadence offers for individuals with mental disorders


What is Depression?

Depression is a common illness that affects more than 264 million people worldwide. Depression can be categorized by the moderate or severe intensity of emotional responses to everyday stimuli. These responses can greatly affect how the individual functions at work, school, and around family and friends. Depression, at its worst, has been shown to cause suicidal thoughts or suicide itself. The number of deaths caused by suicide worldwide is close to eight-hundred thousand. Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in 15-29 year olds. The burden of this disorder as well as other mental health problems has been and still is on the rise globally. 

Types of Depression

There are many types of depression which includes: clinical depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar depression, seasonal/situational depression, and postpartum depression. Two types of depression that are the most common are recurrent depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder. Recurrent depressive disorder involves repeated depressive episodes over an extended period of time. These depressive episodes can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Bipolar affective disorder typically consists of both manic and depressive episodes which are then separated by periods of normal moods. 


During depressive episodes, a person may experience loss of interest and enjoyment of daily activities as well as loss of appetite. Other symptoms include reduced energy, disturbed sleep, and feelings of guilt and low self-worth. The persistent feeling of sadness can lead to changes in daily behavior, self-esteem, and concentration. Behavior symptoms of depression can include agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness and social isolation. Weight gain and/or weight loss is also a very common symptom of depression. Lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide are all cognitive red flags. As said before, these symptoms and behaviors can lead to thoughts of suicide or suicide itself if left untreated. 

Cognitive Functioning

How Does Music Affect the Cognitive Function of People Suffering from Depression?

Music, as everyone knows, is a huge source of contentment and pleasure, but as studies have shown, music can also improve many psychological disorders. Music can have an influence on mood as well as thoughts and behaviors. Music therapy is an intervention that can be utilized to promote emotional health and create coping mechanisms used to deal with disorders such as depression.

Music has been used as an escape by many dealing with depression or other disorders. Studies have shown that people with depression emotionally bond with music. Image courtesy of Holistic Drug Rehab.

Benefits of Music Therapy

How Can Music Therapy Benefit Individuals Suffering from Depression?

Music therapy uses music in both a vocal and instrumental form to treat people with mental health needs. The emotional aspect of music is used in music therapy as a neurological stimulator that incites reactions of a non-musical nature. Music healing is in the name. Music healing is healing through the power of music, also known as music therapy. This healing comes from decreasing symptoms of depression as well as improving the physical and psychological aspects that come along with having a depressive disorder. 

The American Music Association lists many of the benefits of music therapy. These benefits are:

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Decreased anxiety 
  • Enhanced interpersonal relationships
  • Increased motivation
  • Successful and safe emotional release
Music can heal on all levels: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Image courtesy of Medium.

Who Can Help?

Services Incadence Offers for Individuals with Depression

Incadence is a music therapy and technology firm that provides music therapy assistance and services via internet video calls. Incadence does not discriminate and is welcoming to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The opportunity to grow and heal is Incadence’s main goal. They have a wonderful staff of board certified music therapists that are dedicated in helping you heal from many things. 

Incadence’s music therapy services are personalized to fit your needs. If you’re suffering from ADHD, music therapy can help reduce hyperactivity and increase focus. Music therapy helps individuals with autism meet sensory, motor and emotional needs. Music therapy also provides couples therapy in a unique way. Finally, music therapy can help with a variety of mental health needs. These include anxiety, depression, or any other disorder. Music therapy is a valid and effective treatment option and is highly recommended for individuals who have found no success in other treatments.  

The soul and body are closely connected and the utilization of music therapy can help heal both. Image courtesy of Incadence

No musical skill or experience is necessary to participate in Incadence’s music therapy sessions. The opportunity to grow and heal is given to you through song-writing, music listening, and discussion. Need help feeling better and want to try something unique? Call Incadence to be paired with a music therapist today.

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 17, 2021

Haley Wisniewski
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