Have you ever been in the worst mood but perked up instantly when you heard your favourite song? Perhaps your day had been going horrifically until you heard that song that always makes you smile. For me, it’s “All Of Me’by John Legend…What is yours?
Before we get further into the topic of music to ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, we should probably look at the symptoms that would generally accompany the condition. When you break things down into more manageable chunks, you will soon start to see a light at the end of the tunnel – a way for you to change certain things in your lifestyle to make life a bit easier.
There are a lot of symptoms that can come hand in hand with those winter blues. Just take a look at some of these:
- Weight gain or loss
- Withdrawal from society
- Loss of interest in things you once loved
- Changes in your appetite
- Cravings for certain foods
- Becoming adverse to foods that you once loved
- Heavy feeling when moving around
- Aching muscles, bones and joints
- Sleeping too much or not at all
That’s quite a range of symptoms right there, isn’t it? It would be easy to think that there was no reprise for the ongoing problems. You wake up in the morning feeling lethargic and exhausted and your day doesn’t get any better from there…
…But maybe it could.
Music has been known for years to help sooth many problems. When you are tired, an upbeat song can help get you in the mood to move. When you are feeling down, a good song can make you feel instantly lifted. A sad song, however, when combined with a sad mood, generally leads to tears dropping into the bottom of an ice cream tub.
Music is a crowd-mover. It can help to make people understand, calm down, become energised, fall in love…You name it – there’s not much you can’t achieve with music and when it comes to the winter blues, there’s nothing easier than throwing on a good CD and letting the songs work their magic.
There was a study taken out in Norway that showed patients listening to music in the form of music therapy for depression showed fewer symptoms of the condition. For two times a week for ten weeks, patients were given music therapy alongside their regular standard care for 79 different patients suffering with depression. Out of the two groups that took part, the ones that faced the music therapy had much greater improvement on how they felt on a day to day basis than those that didn’t.
If music can help with depression, it can certainly help with the winter blues or for when you are in a bad mood. It can help to motivate you to get you off the couch. When you get off the couch, you might end up making it out to the shops. Perhaps you choose to walk instead of drive? You get to burn off calories and enjoy a bit of physical exercise which again, helps with depression. It’s a spiral of events for the better…
Perhaps music for a better mood isn’t such a bad idea after all?
Erkkila J, Punkanen M, Fachner J. Individual music therapy for depression: randomized controlled trial.Br J Psychiatry. 2011 Aug;199(2):132-9.