According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, music can help patients tap into emotions that can be difficult for them to otherwise express through traditional forms of communication. Participating in music recovery is useful, regardless of musical background. Activities include lyric analysis, relaxation training, songwriting, musical games, and improvising music based on emotions or other topics related to treatment. Integrating music into recovery can help patients explore their emotions and increase their motivation and engagement. Music-based interventions provide different opportunities in recovery for self-expression, cooperative group activity, and imagination.
NorthShore’s music-based recovery program, known as the Salt Exchange, incorporates the 12-steps of recovery and is conducted by substance abuse counselors and music instructors. Musicians are encouraged to create, record, and use music as a creative outlet in order to recover.
Benefits of Music Recovery include:
- Relaxation training
- Positive emotional changes through songwriting and lyrical analysis
- Decrease in anxiety, depression, anger, and stress
- Increase motivation and engagement in recovery
- Promotes social cohesion
- Promotes emotional expression
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