Music Therapy for Addiction

At Lumiere Healing Centers, we understand that music can be a compelling experience that many of us rely on as part of our everyday lives. It comes as no surprise, then, that music therapy for drug rehab applies the power of music to healing and treatment. While music therapy has always played a role in mental and emotional health, it can also help people overcome addictions.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the use of music as a tool to assist in emotional, physical, cognitive, and social change. Music therapists take their patients’ individual needs into account when customizing treatment plans, most of which don’t require musical talents. Some forms of music therapy include music listening, singing, creating, learning an instrument, or dancing to music. In regards to addiction recovery, research has shown that music therapy is effective in increasing motivation, strengthening emotional support, and providing a safe, alternative outlet for expressing feelings.

Music is one of the grandest forms of creative self-expression. For those in recovery who struggle with guilt and shame, music can serve as a form of abstract, non-verbal communication. There is no judgment in music therapy, making it a safe space for anyone at any stage of recovery. And, while there is no direct proof that music therapy is a practical solution for drug or alcohol treatment, several clinical trial studies have shown that music therapy for drug rehab can be very beneficial for patients.

Benefits of Music Therapy For Addiction

Among all the treatment options that addiction treatment patients use, music therapy is a complementary alternative that promotes spiritual health and emotional growth. Generally, the direct benefits of music therapy for drug rehab include:

  • an improved self-awareness
  • an enhanced sense of positivity
  • increased attention and concentration
  • a renewed sense of self-empowerment
  • a set of strategic problem-solving skills
  • the development of relaxation techniques
  • a greater understanding of emotional exploration

Music Therapy After Drug Rehab

In addition to its effects within rehab, music can also benefit recovering addicts well after treatment is complete. In fact, some of the most famous musicians in popular culture use their music to keep themselves motivated during recovery. Not only that, but many of them also use their music to advocate for sobriety and mental health. Such artists include Elton John, Eminem, Macklemore, and Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler.

It’s also important to remember that musical talent is not required to reap the benefits of music therapy. After all, you do not have to be good at creating music to enjoy it. Some of the best forms of music therapy you can continue after rehab include:

Musically-Guided Meditation

Music has a calming effect on the mind. Listening to calming melodies during meditation can be an efficient way of combating stress. Plus, music can act as a buffer if you are just starting to learn the basics of meditation.

Playlist Building

Creating a playlist is a creative and productive source of fun that promotes relaxation and encourages exercise. Today’s technology has made creating playlists easier than ever before, so you can jump right in.


Drumming is one of the few forms of making music that requires more practice than natural talent, and it has many benefits for those in recovery. Some of these include stress reduction, pleasure, and a sense of connection, especially when playing in a band or drum circle with like-minded people. Drumming is also a positive, introspective way to spend your free time.


Writing a song, even if you do not have experience, can be very therapeutic for someone recovering from addiction. The act of songwriting is similar to keeping a journal; it is a means of getting thoughts and feelings down on paper. And, even if you do not share your songs with anyone, songwriting can become a powerful tool for growth and healing in long-term recovery and sobriety.

While music therapy is highly renowned as a method of healing, it is worth noting that not all music will be conducive to addiction recovery. In some cases, specific lyrics or songs themselves might stir up powerful, triggering emotions that should be avoided during the recovery process. Be sure to discuss your options with your counselor and group if you have any concerns about music-based triggers.

If you have any additional questions on Music Therapy for Drug Rehab, contact Lumiere Healing Centers today at 513-714-3400.

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