Achieving Emotional Release Through Music

MusicAchieving Emotional Release Through Music

According to a recent study by Sage Journals, musical engagement is connected to posttraumatic resilience. It’s not unusual for survivors of child abuse to develop a complicated relationship with self-expression, but psychologists are now uncovering music’s potential for emotional healing later in life.

The Link Between Music And Medicine

Years after abuse occurs, survivors of child abuse may still struggle to express their true emotions. However, music as a form of therapy is being analyzed as a potential tool for unblocking abuse-related emotional stagnation and opening up the floor for long-term healing and release.

Part of what helps survivors of abuse heal from their past is the safe and controlled post-processing of traumatic events. And music offers a uniquely fitting environment to do so. Music that is calming or soothing provides a supportive backdrop for emotions to naturally emerge, coaxing them out into a safe space where the individual will not be judged or harmed for their expression. This emotional response to music can be witnessed through a number of different cases of abuse PTSD, including those pertaining to war, sexual exploitation, and neglect.

Emotional Expression Is The Key To Healing

Music on its own may be emotionally comforting, but its true healing potential lies with self-expression. Expressing your thoughts, emotions, and ideas is an important signifier of psychological health, but survivors of abuse may not have been equipped to do so in a healthy way. That’s where music comes in.

Much like art, dancing, or writing, playing music has been found to encourage people to process both painful and joyous memories in a constructive, creative way. This can help to build confidence, alleviate stress, and bring survivors of abuse back into a healthy relationship with themselves.

The best part about self-expression is that you don’t need to be good at it to do it well. It’s not about creating a musical masterpiece, it’s about the process of letting your emotional guard down and engaging with parts of yourself that have been unjustly repressed or punished. If you own a guitar (or any instrument), keeping a guitar book to aid your musical journey can be a helpful way to diarize and celebrate progress.

Working Towards Healing

When survivors of child abuse reconnect with their emotions, it can lead to fostering deeper relationships with both others and themselves. Self-expression reduces anxiety and amplifies independence by providing a necessary outlet for creative – and emotional – assertion. 

Songs of Healing>


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