Kudos to neuroscientists who explored more about the physical nature of sound and how our minds react to it. Without their observations and conclusions there wasn't going to be an expert of that particular field who can bring about positve results in studying and deducing how music alter a depressed individual.
Lets rewind to 1000s of years ago, Greeks, for instance, they believed that music was a crucial tool in reestablishing peace of mind thus. This can tell us that there is something essential about music. So to make it easier for you to understand how music is perceived, produced and cure depression and anxiety, I'm going to peel it off layer by layer.
Depression - (psychology) In psychotherapy and psychiatry, is a state of mind producing serious, long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future. That state will likely keep you in the negativity-universe, hence prompting you to give up on each and every project you wish to work on.
Anxiety, is a bit different. Its like fear of obstacles or hindrances that might affect you or any of your personal belongings in the future.
According to Elder Holland, "broken minds can be cured or healed the same way broken bones or broken hearts are healed", which means it takes time to get a depressed mindset to normal so we need something that can act as a catalyst during this process and the closest catalysts before therapists is music.
(DISCLAIMER - The author behind this article is not a Therapist / Psychiatrist / Psychologist. Therefore the content in this article should not be taken as an advise / therapy. If you want to ask specific questions about mental health or an mental issues, we advise you to look for a trusted expert / firms operating in that field.)
The involvement of neurotransmitters and hormones.
First, there is Dopamine - (part of the brain system) - which is a neurotransmitter associated with movement, attention, learning, and the brain's pleasure and reward system. Dopamine is the part responsible for you to get affected emotionally by music, depending on the psychological analysis of the music composer (we are going to talk about this later )
Cuddle hormone - it's a "feel good" hormone released by our body whenever you start dancing, singing or listening to your favourite song.
Those two, cuddle hormone and the dopamine plays an important role in tackling your anxiety or depression level through music.
Essential tools used
There are various tools found in each and every song. Some of those tools are used by therapists such as pianos and guitars to combat anxiety and depression disorders. Why?, Because they act as the golden key when it comes to emotionalization or when trying to trigger joyness. Before we get to the core part of the story, it's extremely important for you to understand why music producers and audio engineers are essential in this process.
The significance of music producers and audio engineers
Professional and experienced producers always try to explore and understand (in a sort of a survey) how people understand and respond to a certain type of music genres, piano keys, melodies, lyrical-content etc. Soon after their survey they create whatever project they are intended to create accordingly. For them to play an important role in fighting depression and anxiety, they take control of the pitch, melody and rhythm, by creating sounds that derive positive thinking and energy after analysing people's minds psychologically, the mind relationship to certain keys and melodies, together with a certain perception of group of people in a society,cultureand the target audience's past experience / intelligence level.
How Exactly Music Combats Depression
They call itmusic therapy. The most essential part is that it alter your mind to derive better solutions by channeling your mind from negativism to optimism (i will describe more about this below) because of the emotions associated with it. It also create a deep state of relaxation, thus changing your mood, healing stress and burden. This can be done through a passive way (listening ) or active (playing an instrument or singing ).
It was scientifically proven that singing or singing along to music helps to enhance creativity and induces good mood. It effectively reduces anxiety due to the dopamine.
A depressed person is always filled up with negativity, associated with mental disorder, thus, underestimating himself / herself, but due to emotions and optimism derived from music depending on the type of music, it boost your good mood thus, increased self-awareness.
Decreased social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. Music enhances interpersonal relationships because it releases the "feel good hormone " (cuddle hormone ), through dancing and singing together.
I mentioned a lot about this factor. Optimism is a tendency to expect the best, or at least, a favourable outcome. Music induces positivity in your mind therefore, you will always believe in your self and your hard work. Well that also depends on the lyrical content.