Using Music as a Coping Skill

Has a song ever filled you with happiness and joy so that you can’t help but sing and dance?

Have you ever had strong memories come flooding back when you hear a certain song?

Have you ever cried when listening to a piece of music?

You have experienced the power of music.

Music has the power to change people’s moods. It can take someone from feeling sad to feeling happy. It can energize you. It can move you to the point of tears.

How can people use music as a way to cope?


First, figure out what you are currently feeling and what you’d like to be feeling and thinking instead. Make multiple playlists for whatever you’d like to feel, and name them accordingly.

If you are feeling sad, perhaps you want to make a playlist full of songs that make you smile.

If you are feeling helpless, make a playlist of songs that makes you feel strong.

If you are feeling like you have no energy, make a playlist of songs that makes you want to get up and do something.


Playing an instrument is a great way to use music as a way to cope. It can be exhilarating and cathartic to play. You can express so much emotion without using words while you play an instrument. If you don’t play an instrument, don’t feel like you can’t do this. Your voice is also an instrument. We’ve all been singing in the shower or car and know how awesome that can feel.


Writing music can be therapeutic. Some children and teens need to write to get their emotions out, and the way they write is with music. It’s another way that you can process difficult emotions and experiences


Movement and music go together. If you don’t want to play or sing, you can express yourself with your body. Moving to music can change your state of mind. Moving to music can be freeing and fun. Sometimes when you are in a bad mood, all you need is an impromptu dance party.

My challenge to you is to take a few minutes today and use music as a way to cope with life’s stressors. See how much you can change your state of mind simply by using music.

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