Mood Control in a Changing World
How can music listening behaviors be problematic?
When looking at music listening habits among adolescents, the study “Music-listening habits with MP3 player in a group of adolescents: a descriptive survey” revealed that the participants in this study engaged in behaviors that are considered risky. These behaviors included listening to music for extended periods of time and listening to music at high volumes. In addition to this, they noticed that as the period of time increased, with no or minimal breaks, so did the volume of the music showing a correlation between the two.
This brings up some questions, why were these behaviors consistent among this population?
What were they listening to?
Why are they listening to music for extended periods of time- how does this benefit them?
What can be the result of listening to music in this way?
If we look at the study, “Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Determine Media Use by Individuals With and Without Major Depressive Disorder” we get answers to some of our questions above.
In this study, the researchers not only focused on music but other types of media such as movies, video games, internet, print media and their relationships with mood. When reviewing the results, 46 out of 106 adolescents that participated in the study were diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder characterized by depressive mood, loss of interest in activities, a sense of worthlessness and more, persisting for more than 2 weeks on a consistent basis. The study found that music listening increased the likelihood of the MDD diagnosis. Music listening can be mostly passive, you put headphones on and your set. Those with an MDD diagnosis may engage in music listening more than other media, like reading or video games, that require more attention and involvement. This leads to consistently listening to music expressing negative emotions in combination with long periods of music listening. This may lead to repeatedly affirming these negative emotions and staying in a depressed mood.
An important protocol has been developed with strong clinical evidence that merges music listening habits into an innovative method for mood control that builds resiliency within a constantly changing world. Called Music4Life’s Music Medicine Pill, this mood control method allows many music genres to be culled in the creation of a medicinal personalized playlist. Using this playlist daily moves the listener into a space of cathartic, intentional listening to address mood problems effectively, as opposed to 24/7 self-medication that supports continual repressed or suppressed emotions. Learn more here from the research cited below.
Pellegrino, E. et al. (Sep-Oct, 2013). Music-listening habits with MP3 player in a group of adolescents: a descriptive survey. Annali di Igiene, 25(5), 367-76. At https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24048175/
Primack, B. et al (April, 2011). Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Determine Media Use by Individuals With and Without Major Depressive Disorder. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 165(4), 360-365. At https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/384518
Today’s article was written by our Guest Blogger:
Erika Gonzalez, LPMT, MT-BC
Licensed board-certified music therapist