Using Music to Cope With Grief | Counseling | Therapy

Using Music to Cope With Grief

Jennifer Foust, PhD, MS, LPC , MS, LPC, PHD — Clinical director

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Music Therapy & Grief Therapy in Philadelphia:

Using Music to Cope With Grief
For some people, music is a very healthy, soothing, and comfortable way to express emotions. Whether you have a great appreciation for it or create your own, music can be an effective tool for managing and coping with grief. This tip is for the person who connects with music and its lyrics in a way that they feel it can represent and express their emotions. If you really like music and/or you consider it an important part of your life, you will likely find this music therapy / grief therapy in Philadelphia tip to be useful for dealing with grief.

Create a playlist for the person you lost. When you are picking songs, you can use some of these suggestions. Pick songs that remind you of the person. For example, you may want to include his or her favorite song or a song by his or her favorite band. Or, maybe you want to include a song that you like, that the deceased would tease you about and that teasing is a fond memory for you. Anything that reminds you of the person in any way that is a fond memory for you is a good choice. Pick songs that are meaningful for you. Maybe you cry every time you hear “Bridge over Troubled Water” because it is a powerful song to you about friendship and supporting the people you love. A good test to figure out songs that have a meaningful message is to really pay attention to music you hear in everyday life when you are grieving. A song that you never really thought much about before may cause you to feel tearful or really strike something in you emotionally. Pick songs that reflect your circumstances. These types of songs may help you to feel less isolated and that someone has gone through the same thing and understands. Pick songs that are comforting to you. You need to care for yourself now. That song that always makes you feel good might be a good choice. When you are making your playlist, don’t feel like you have to stick to a certain style of music. People are unique. Your playlist is a reflection of that uniqueness. What about song order? For some people it is very important that certain songs are grouped together. Whatever you decide, remember that this playlist is for you and a reflection of the person you lost. It can be any way you want it to be.

Another way to use music is to listen to it when you are relaxing or comforting yourself through your grief. Many people like to listen to music when they are taking a hot bath. Or you could listen to some soothing music to help you sleep. If you journal, you may find it useful to put on some music during that. Use music to enhance these ways that you take care of yourself through grief, not as a way to distract you from it.

If you happen to enjoy writing music and/or music with lyrics, writing a song for the person you lost is a great way to express your grief. Even if you play an instrument, if you have never written a song before you may find this to be too challenging. This activity is typically more useful for someone who feels comfortable writing music and has done it before. However, if you have never written a song and would like to give it a shot, there is no reason why you couldn’t give it a try. When using music to cope with grief, music is simply viewed as an expression. The only person that needs to enjoy the music is you.

Music is a great way to deal with grief, but it is not the only way. It is one of the many coping strategies that you may use to help you through the grief process. In addition sharing your music with others can also be a very powerful way of expressing your grief. Music Therapy / Grief Therapy is another way.

Music Therapy / Grief Therapy in Philadelphia. Help is available (267) 324 9564.

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