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Divine Healing

Music Therapy and Mental Health

Music is one of those tools that we often turn to when times are tough. Songs can make us laugh and make us cry, they can bring back memories and stir emotions in us that we may have not known were there. Throughout history the power of music has always been held in an almost magical reverence. Music helped Orpheus to calm Cerebrus at the gates of the underworld. Music caused the children of Hamlin to follow the pied piper, and when the ancient Dagda played his magical harp, not only could he change the seasons, but he could make the people of Ireland laugh, cry or sleep. Music still speaks to us today in the age of radios and Spotify, often in our most tender moments.

Music therapy can help those who are facing a range of mental health challenges, from depression and anxiety to trauma and psychosis. According to Victor Hugo, “Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to stay silent”. In music therapy for mental health, music is used alongside psychotherapeutic techniques to help the individual at hand understand and express themselves and promote positive engagement with the world. Some musical activities that can be engaged with when working in mental health include (but are not limited to);

Lyric analysis

Musical improvisations

Meditations with music (both guided and free)


Due to the covid-19 lockdown we are now offering online (zoom) support in both individual and group sessions.

Keep scrolling to find out more about music therapy and mental health.

How music can help with your mental health


Jason Kenner discusses mental health and music therapy

November 3 2016

Here music therapist Jason Kenner from the Australian music therapy association discusses how music can effect our mental health and how music therapists work.


Music Therapy & Emotions for Depression, Stress & Mental Health Issues

May 25 2011

Here music therapist Hope Young from the centre for music therapy in Austin Texas speaks about some of the ways that music therapists work with people in mental health contexts.


Music therapy for depression - Medical Minute

June 20 2016

In this Med Minute from Avera health, Howie Baird talks about how music therapy helped him through hospitalization due to his deteriorating mental health and how he still uses it today over twenty years later.

Writing musical narratives

A personal story

One of the most commonly used methods in working in music therapy in mental health is songwriting. According to one of the leading music therapists of the twentieth century, Dr. Kenneth Bruscia, songs "are the sounds of our personal development". 

While this may seem a bit puzzling, it really is quite simple. Songs present a platform for emotional expression that may be difficult to access through other means. The playlist embedded below is an example of what a music therapy album may sound like. Written, recorded and produced by Danny Dineen as part of his self development process during a time when he was facing his own mental health challenges, an insight is provided into his journey through music therapy. 

The ten song album (titled "Meditations") is presented not as an art piece but rather as a therapeutic insight and therefore has plenty of bum notes and off beats throughout. This is meant to emphasize the point that music therapy does not need to be a radio quality production. Music therapy is about a process of self development and empowerment. That will mean something different to every individual.

What is presented here is the timeless human story of lost love, depression and isolation through the dark night of the soul with a light at the end of the tunnel. The metaphors of death and rebirth allow for the rejuvenation and reaffirmation of the individual, experienced through metaphorical musical narration.

To paraphrase the great artist Jean Michel Basquiat, if art is how we vivify space, music is how we vivify time. Songwriting in this fashion can help an individual understand their own story. By working through metaphor, you can cast a shining light onto a previously hidden inner world.

If this album resonates with you, contact munster music therapy today and find your own personal style of expression and narrate, decorate or even re-frame your own life story.