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By Jennifer Cheang, MHA Digital Marketing Manager

Sometimes we don’t have the right words to communicate how we’re feeling, and it can be frustrating trying to explain to someone exactly what is going on.

This is where music comes in.

There are countless studies that attribute positive health outcomes to listening to music – from easing physical pain to boosting our cognitive functions. Some mental health professionals use music therapy to treat conditions such as schizophrenia.

We asked MHA’s community about what songs helped them in their recovery, and here are some of their favorites:

  1. “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled
  2. “Beautiful U R” by Deborah Cox
  3. “Walk Away” by Bad Religion
  4. “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
  5. “Cherish the Day” by Sade
  6. “Titanium” by David Guetta (Trigger Warning: Images of guns, language about shooting)
  7. “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips
  8. “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  9. "Keep Ya Head Up" by Tupac
  10. “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons

Learning to play or playing an instrument can also help you focus on something other than your thoughts and improve overall functioning.

In 2017, our Annual Conference explored how music and other types of alternative therapy methods can help manage and treat symptoms of mental illness. You can check out some of those presentations here.

Our partners at the You Rock Foundation know that music saves lives and promote music as a form of recovery. They also share the stories of musicians living with mental health conditions, such as Corey Taylor from Slipknot. You can learn more about their work here.

Music is an integral part of the human experience and can be effective for individuals who cannot otherwise express their feelings. It can also evoke emotion, help regain memories, stimulate new neural connections and active attention.

How has music affected your mental health?