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The Power of Music: The Mental Health Effect

Phone with headphones a table with a Google play headphone symbol
Angel Garcia standing in the snow

This piece was written by communication intern Angel Garcia. Angel Garcia will graduate from BC and transfer out to a 4-year university where he will continue his education and get a Masters in Sociology. His goal for the future is to work along side social services to be a resource for children and families who need stable homes. He loves to soak in as much information he can get, help people as much as he can, and read too many Stephen King books! 

What makes a great song? Is it a song with a fast paced beat? A powerful ballad? Heavy electric guitar playing? 

Music comes in a variety of forms. How we hear it can make an impact on how we are feeling in the moment. 

Music is an extremely powerful tool that has an impact on our mental health. If we’re feeling sad, happy, or angry, we listen to music that relates to our mood. When we feel the artist relates to us on a personal level, we can release any stress we are feeling in the moment by singing along (whether we are great singers or not), or dancing if we are in a joyous mood. 

But how exactly does music impact society in a way that benefits the future of mental health? Here are some examples: 

  • A rapper by the name of Logic released a song titled “1-800-273-8255.” The title of the song is the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The song is delivered as a conversation between an individual who is considering suicide and an operator from the lifeline. A study published in 2021 determined the release of this song may have saved hundreds of lives with a 6.9% increase of calls being made to the NSPL. 
  • In 2018 Janelle Monae released an album titled “Dirty Computer” that was centered around a cultural shift to embrace a more accepting and loving society. Every song on the album is created to embrace messages of femininity, liberation, love, diversity, individuality and creativity through music. These messages further open the doorway to an even more accepting society that benefits those who needed a light during dark moments at the time. 
  • In 2011 when Lady Gaga was at a peak in her career, she released her album “Born This Way” dedicated to stories of teenagers who were bullied for being outcasts, and the LGBTQIA+ community, who make up the majority of her fan base. The release of the Born This Way album not only allowed youth to practice self-acceptance, but made them brave enough to stand up for themselves. Following the release of her album, many fans suffering from mental health trauma as a result of not being able to be themselves found new light. This helped to shift the way society perceived the LGBTQIA+ community and immensely improved the mental health of the youth at the time. 

There are many artists that have released music that shifts mental health in a positive way, and I wish I could detail them all (really I do), but the message I’m trying to deliver with this post is that music is an invaluable and powerful tool for mental health. 

Don’t believe me? Put on your favorite music when you’re feeling any kind of emotional distress. Allow yourself to get lost in it for a moment. When you come out on the other side, you’ll feel so much better. 


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