Sound therapy for depression and anxiety

Depression and Sound Therapy

When depression gets a hold of you and colors all aspects of your life it’s sometimes hard to reach out for help—but now you’ve found Sound Therapy…

What is depression?

We all have days when we feel sad or in a bit of a low mood. This will usually shift after some physical activity, interaction or overcoming a problem.

However, when feelings of sadness and hopelessness occur for long periods of time — weeks or months or years — it is called depression. Depression may occur for no apparent reason, making it very hard to address. Depression is a serious condition which can affect both your physical and mental health.

Depression affects how you feel about yourself and can lead to self-doubt and poor self- esteem. It is a very common problem which may be triggered by stressful life-events, setbacks or relationship or employment issues. It may be related to health, hormones, drug use or chemical imbalances due to environmental effects.

“The nicest effect perhaps of the program for me however, is the way in which I find myself just feeling happy, quite frequently, for no particular reason. This is in contrast to feelings of sadness, a…”

Alison Hamilton, South Australia – Read More

Depression and the brain

It’s well known now that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but the exact interactions of brain chemistry is very complex and still not well understood. We do know that it has something to do with the way some of our neurochemicals, including dopamine and serotonin are produced and used within the brain. These neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are related to our sense of upliftment and happiness.

Altering these chemicals with pharmaceutical drugs can be very effective but may also have difficult side effects or long-term impacts on health. The difficulty is that it is not simply a matter of one chemical being too high and another too low.

It is more complicated than that, as depression may have many possible causes, such as faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and health problems in general. In so many cases, it is the combination of several of these forces interacting together which will result in depression. In fact, there are millions, even billions of chemicals interacting, both inside and outside our nerve cells as part of the dynamic system which affects our moods and perceptions.

Another way of looking at it is that depression is a lowered energy state where neurological responses become sluggish and the person’s life force is diminished.

“Sound Therapy has given me more than I could have asked for or expected, I have suffered serious Post Natal Depression for almost 18 months involving hospital and loads of medication but in the last c…”

Yasmin Hibbins, Victoria – Read More

A safe, drug-free solution

The good news is that the body has a natural drive and ability for self-healing if just given the right inputs. While chemicals are intricately involved in the process, there is growing evidence that stimulating our sensory systems can affect the way our brain produces and uses chemicals.

Sound Therapy has been found to help to support those suffering from depression by bombarding the ear and brain with mega doses of high-frequency sounds. These are in fact high energy vibrations, which can help to lift the listener’s state of vitality. It is also possible that Sound Therapy may stimulate the brain to begin naturally producing and utilizing some of the neurotransmitters that create positive emotional states. It is common for Sound Therapy listeners to report greater states of well-being, happiness, and an end to depressed feelings.

In addition, the specific stimulation of the left brain has been found to be an important part of the therapeutic impact on depression. Research on the effects of meditation has shown that prolonged practice of meditation stimulates certain centers in the left forebrain that stimulate feelings of happiness and peace. Sound Therapy’s direct stimulation of the left brain through the increased high-frequency sound input to the right ear has been observed to have a similar effect.

In research specifically on Tomatis Sound Therapy, a long-term study over 14 months (Du Plesis, 1982) with subjects carefully chosen from a survey of 424 people showed improved mental health and self-actualization for both 10 anxious and 10 non-anxious people as compared to a control group.


Make an informed choice—get the eBook

After 26 years in the Sound Therapy field, we really understand stress and depression and what it means to live with these conditions. Every week we hear from our listeners thanking us for the relief they have found. Listeners have reported quite dramatic changes in their mood, their overall sense of wellbeing and happiness and their sense of fulfillment in life.

If you would like to learn more in-depth about how Sound Therapy helps depression, order Rafaele Joudry’s FREE eBook here and benefit from her decades of experience helping thousands of listeners with Sound Therapy.

Or call and speak to one of our qualified Sound Therapy consultants right away.

Start listening to Sound Therapy and start feeling better today!

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Music therapy involves using a person’s responses and connections to music to encourage positive changes in mood and overall well-being. Music therapy can include creating music with instruments of all types, singing, moving to music, or just listening to it.

Music has powerful effects on the mind. Different styles of music can have a significant effect on a person’s mood very quickly, and it can help them experience and process a wide range of emotions, from happiness to excitement, as well as sadness, calmness, and thoughtfulness.

Making music can also be as beneficial as listening to music, and music therapy encourages people to actively create the music they find helpful to them.

This article explains what music therapy is, how it can help improve mental health, and its effects on different mental health conditions.

What is music therapy?

Silhouette of a person holding headphones for music therapy.

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Image credit: Getty Images

Music therapy uses the powerful abilities of music to improve a person’s well-being. It is an alternative to other types of therapy, such as counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Music therapists use a person’s responses and connections to music to encourage positive changes in mood and overall mental mindset. Music therapy can include listening to music or creating music with instruments of all types. It may also involve singing or moving to music.

It can help improve confidence, communication skills, independence, self-awareness and awareness of others, and concentration and attention skills.

Live musical interaction between a person and their therapist is important during music therapy.

Improvisation can also be a key part of music therapy. This involves making music up on the spot in response to a mood or a theme, such as making the sound of a storm using drums and a rainstick.

How does music therapy work?

The way that music affects the brain is very complex. All aspects of music — including pitch, tempo, and melody — are processed by different areas of the brain.

For instance, the cerebellum processes rhythm, the frontal lobes decode the emotional signals created by the music, and a small portion of the right temporal lobe helps understand pitch.

The reward center of the brain, called the nucleus accumbens, can even produce strong physical signs of pleasure, such as goosebumps, when it hears powerful music.

Music therapy can use these deep physical reactions the body has to music to help people with mental health conditions.

History and origins

Music has been a part of human life for thousands of years. Specifically, experts have found instruments dating back to over 40,000 years ago, suggesting that humans’ desire to express themselves or communicate through music is deep rooted.

The use of music for therapy and healing dates back to Ancient Greece, but its therapeutic use today began in the 20th century, after World War II had ended. The earliest reference to music therapy comes from a 1789 article called “Music physically considered.”

The 1800s saw medical research into the therapeutic nature of music grow, and by the 1940s, universities were offering music therapy programs. E. Thayer Gaston, one of three men who pioneered the use of music as a therapeutic tool, had organized and promoted the practice so that it would become an accepted type of therapy.

Now, there are many music therapy associations around the world, and music therapists work in private care, education, and social care.

Music therapy vs. other forms of therapy

Music therapy does not rely on verbal communication, so it can be better for people who struggle to communicate verbally. This could be due to a disability, a neurodegenerative condition such as dementia, an acquired brain injury, or a mental health condition.

As CBT and counseling are both talking therapies, they may not be suitable for people who find verbal communication difficult. This is where music therapy can be beneficial.

Additionally, mental health practitioners can bring music therapy directly to a person, such as if they cannot get out of bed or are unable to get to a therapist’s office. Enjoying music therapy at home can also benefit children who want to be in a familiar environment during their sessions.

This is not specific to music therapy, though, as many other types of psychotherapy can take place in the home.

The skills a person learns in music therapy can be useful in their everyday life, too. They may even take up learning an instrument as a new hobby, which they can use as a tool for improving their mental health and coping with difficult situations throughout their life.


There are extra benefits to listening or creating music that talking therapies may not be able to offer.

For instance, learning and practicing a piece of music can improve memory skills, coordination, reading, comprehension, and math skills, and it can also give lessons in responsibility and perseverance.

People can also enjoy a great sense of achievement from creating a piece of music, which can help improve their mood and self-esteem.

Music therapy can also introduce people to many different cultures, as clients can explore any type and genre of music during therapy. Understanding the history behind a piece of music can help people connect with the music they are hearing or playing.

Although self-expression is a part of talking therapy, music therapy allows people to express themselves in a creative way, which can be a more enjoyable way of exploring difficult emotions.

Lyric analysis is another accessible way for people to explore and process difficult emotions, experiences, or memories through music.

For example, a person can find themes and meanings within lyrics and offer alternative lyrics that apply to their life and experiences, which can help them find the words that represent how they are feeling if they are finding it hard to express this themselves.

Some of the documented benefits of music therapy include:

  • improved self-esteem
  • decreased anxiety
  • increased motivation
  • successful and safe emotional release
  • increased verbalization
  • stronger connections with other people

How it helps with anxiety

Many studies suggest that music therapy can reduce feelings of anxiety, including in people with cancer, those undergoing surgery, and individuals going into intensive care units. Some studies also suggest that music can reduce blood pressure and the heartbeat, which can have a direct impact on how stressed a person feels.

There is also evidence to suggest that those undergoing music therapy experience reduced anxiety immediately after the session, which indicates that music therapy could be a convenient way to reduce symptoms quickly.

Music affects the amount of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that the body releases, and reducing these hormones can help relieve symptoms of anxiety.

How it helps with depression

Studies suggest that music therapy can improve symptoms of depression, with those undergoing music therapy along with standard treatments for depression — such as talking therapy — improving more than people who only received standard therapy.

Listening to music can also release dopamine, which is a hormone that makes people feel good, and endorphins, which are hormones that can induce happy moods and relieve pain.

Although music therapy is not a cure for depression, it can offer short-term benefits by improving mood and encouraging connection and self-expression.

In children

Some of the benefits of music therapy for children include:

  • offering fun ways of expressing thoughts and feelings
  • practicing social interaction and communication skills
  • encouraging creative play
  • improving concentration and coordination
  • increasing self-awareness
  • increasing awareness of other people, particularly in group music sessions
  • building self-esteem and resilience
  • building language and listening skills
  • strengthening family relationships


Although music therapy is not a cure for any mental health condition, it can be an effective and enjoyable tool for reducing the symptoms of numerous conditions, including depression and anxiety.

Music therapy offers people a creative and accessible way of expressing their feelings and processing their experiences. People have used music for its powerful effects on mood and emotions for a long time.

Aside from helping with mental health conditions, music therapy also has numerous other benefits, such as providing a creative outlet, expanding knowledge and cultural awareness, and improving cognitive skills such as memory.

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