Depression is one of the most common disorders that people experience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) survey results, the worldwide prevalence of depression in 2015 (1) is estimated to be 4.4%. The total number of people with depression is approximately 322 million. It is more common among women (5.1%) than men (3.6%).
Depression is characterized by:
- Depressed mood
- Feeling hopeless
- Loss of interest in activities
- Low self-worth
- Poor concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleeping
- Impaired ability to function at school, work, or social life.
How can Music & Meditation help with Depression?
A study suggested meditation with the help of music can help with depression. Gladding (2010) indicated that music listening can be used to support self-healing, increase self-awareness and reach the clients in conflict to communicate verbally so music can help the person to put his or her emotions into words easier (17). In a previous study with a structured music listening program showed a helpful change in physical and psychological symptoms of depression, such as fatigue, low self-esteem and so on (18).
Focusing on the past or future can result in one’s feeling of anxiety or depression (19). On the other hand, mindfulness helps the person to focus on the present ‘with curiosity, acceptance, and openness as a way of observing one’s own thoughts and emotions from moment to moment’ (6). John Kabat-Zin suggests that during sitting meditation, you can practice meditation with music, hearing each note and the spaces between the notes, and breathe the sounds into your body and let them flow out again on the out breath by imagining your body as transparent to the music (17).
1. World Health Organization (2017). Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva.
6. Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125–143.
17. Eckhardt, K. J., & Dinsmore, J. A. (2012). Mindful music listening as a potential treatment for depression. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 7(2), 175-186.
18. Lai, Y. (1999). Effects of music listening on depressed women in Taiwan. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 20, 229–246.
19. Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 78, 169–183.