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Can Learning an Instrument Help Mental Health?

20th December 2019

As humans, our mental health is incredibly fragile – for some more than others – and anything from a traumatic event to increased stress at work can lead to problems. The arrival of social media and a far more digital world seems to have only made these issues worse, too. So, if something can give even a little relief to someone struggling with their own mental health, it’s worth looking into – and one such activity is learning an instrument. 

Mental Health and Music

Music can have huge effects on our emotions, both good and bad! Listen to sad songs and you might find yourself tearing up, or put on a happy, energetic playlist and some people could see their mindset shift to something a little more positive. It’s not hard to see that we have an emotional connection to music, but learning an instrument goes a lot deeper than that, having profound effects on your brain that can help with long-term mental illness. 

A Purposeful, Positive Activity

For sufferers of mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, channeling your energy into some positive, like learning an instrument, can be a great relief and something many therapists will encourage. It occupies your mind, helping you focus on the task at hand rather than letting your brain spin out of control, and gives you something purposeful to do. If having an hour with nothing to do scares you, for example, because you’re worried of slipping into a dark place, knowing you can spend that time playing your instrument can be a great relief. 

A Self-Esteem Boost

For some people with mental illnesses, they may experience a sense of worthlessness. Whilst it’s not an immediate cure, learning an instrument could be a great way to help curb these feelings. You’ll be learning a skill that’s definitely worthwhile and showing yourself and others that you can achieve something very impressive – learning to play music isn’t an easy feat! 

Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Can music help mental health? When it comes to stress and anxiety, it certainly can. Playing an instrument can be an incredibly soothing activity as you become more focused. It can even have meditative effects, clearing your mind and helping you feel as though you’ve had a mental break.

Of course, everyone is different, so if you’re wondering ‘can learning an instrument improve mental health?’, the best thing to do is try it yourself! You can also consult your doctor or therapist if you think they might be able to help – they’re the experts, after all.

How to get Started?

If you do decide you’d like to try out an instrument, feel free to contact our team at Dawkes to help you pick something that’s right for you. When it comes to music we know our stuff, and we’re always happy to help, so reach out to us today!

We also offer adult music lessons in Berkshire on Sax, Clarinet, Flute & Oboe.

For more information regarding purchasing, or renting one of our instruments from as little as £15 per month, give us a call today on 01628 630 800 or contact us here.