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Music listening and stress recovery in healthy individuals: A systematic review with meta-analysis of experimental studies PMC

Most of them investigated single sessions [29–36], and two included longer interventions [15,38]. Despite the positive qualitative reports of patients, not all of these studies identified significant benefits for MT/ MBI. Silverman reported higher treatment and sobriety motivation after MT compared to a wait-list CG with pretest only [33,35], whereas others identified no differences compared to verbal therapy or pretest [32,34]. Different results may be due to different study designs, comparisons or measurement instruments. For instance, a Likert scale for the assessment of motivation revealed similar ratings across groups, whereas the use of a multidimensional scale resulted in higher scores for experimental group than CG in the same sample [32].

  1. Khalfa et al. [54] reported that post-stressor cortisol decreased more rapidly for participants who listened to experimenter-selected classical music, compared to participants who sat in silence.
  2. As they do not cover ‘music should have been played after the stressor’, I still argue that the Thoma Paper should be included.
  3. Addiction to substances is characterized by obsessive drug usage despite its negative drawbacks.
  4. An exploratory analysis with less stringent criteria, where potential risk of bias from selection of reported results is not included in our quality assessment procedure, is reported in Appendix B.
  5. These results suggest that MT/ MBI may lead to increased internal LOC over time.
  6. Music is something that many people tend to take for granted, but in many ways music has a deep and significant impact on their lives.

Studies utilized a variety of outcomes to investigate the effects of music listening on stress recovery. To expand upon the results of our meta-analysis, we detail the findings reported for each of these outcomes below. Studies on the effects of music often fail to consider the differential effects of self-selected (i.e., chosen by participants) and experimenter selected (i.e., chosen for participants by the experimenter) music [15].

Overall effects of music listening on stress recovery

Both interventions help build a supportive relationship between patients and their therapists, which offers an outlet to express emotions or feelings they may otherwise have trouble expressing. Some board-certified therapists may go for the combined approach that involves both active and receptive music therapies. According to one study, receptive intervention may provide therapeutic effects faster, but active intervention may have a how to take suboxone tablets higher peak effect. It is a popular method used in medical hospitals, alcohol, and addiction recovery care programs, other clinical settings, and at home to help patients, even with no musical background or education. Evidence suggests that this therapeutic approach is beneficial, both mentally and physically. In Table 6, methodological recommendations are summarized that are aimed at helping to overcome issues in future research.

When using music therapy for addiction, patients can acknowledge their negative feelings, form coping mechanisms, and alleviate stress. Based on the research about using music in substance abuse treatment programs, it serves as a complementary approach to other primary treatments, thus improving positive outcomes. Due to suicidal behavior the diverse nature of music, the effects of musical therapy benefit many individuals. According to one clinical study, this approach helps in modulating moods and emotions in depressed individuals. It is helpful to manage depressive symptoms and offers short-term benefits to people with different depressive disorders.

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The comparison of musical features between self-selected and experimenter selected music may also offer a more nuanced perspective on the role of preference and familiarity. Specifically, preferences and familiarity towards certain songs could be described in terms of specific (combinations of) musical features. For example, an individual may prefer music with slow tempo, mellow timbre, and moderate loudness. This approach is often leveraged by music recommender systems, such as those implemented by music streaming platforms (e.g., Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, etc.), with the goal of recommending songs that listeners are likely to engage with. Due to use of multiple stress recovery outcomes, eleven out of fourteen studies included in the meta-analysis contributed multiple effect sizes of interest. Although we believe our approach using RVE was the most suitable for our data, we also calculated overall effect sizes using the aggregation method outlined in Borenstein et al. [92], and random-effects meta-analyses without correcting for dependencies.

Search methods for identification of studies

These yielded estimates that were nearly identical to those generated by our approach and were therefore not reported. Our descriptive summaries considered the quality of the identified studies and revealed that in the last years, since the review of Mays et al. in 2008, more RCTs were conducted. Thus, for outcomes like motivation, depression, enjoyment, withdrawal and craving, perceived helpfulness, working alliance, and locus of control studies of high level evidence of efficacy already exist.

This analytical approach may therefore yield a more nuanced understanding of the effect of musical tempo on the recovery of autonomic parameters. There is evidence for the direct impact of listening to music on emotions and craving without application of MT/ MBI [61]. In addition, frequent listening to relaxing tracks had a beneficial effect on sleep, mood, and treatment completion [55].

As they may be related to positive therapeutic experiences, these factors may facilitate the participation in additional interventions. Importantly, the only RCT with follow-up assessment did not find any beneficial effects of single MT sessions on depression, enjoyment, perceived effectiveness and sobriety [31] after a one-month period. In Labbé et al. [17], post-stressor perceived relaxation was higher for participants who listened to classical music compared to heavy metal, but not compared to silence. There were no significant differences in post-stressor perceived relaxation between participants listening to the various musical genres in Chafin et al. [21], and between participants listening to classical music or silence [50]. Thus, no studies provide conclusive evidence that music listening is beneficial for post-stressor perceived relaxation. However, the effects of music listening on perceived relaxation may differ depending on genre.

Investigating the differential effects of these musical features on stress recovery may provide relevant insight into the differential effects of listening to various musical genres on stress recovery. There are several ongoing discussions about potential moderating effects in the relationship between music listening and stress recovery. We briefly describe these effects below, and later contribute to the discussion through moderator analyses. Years of research have been performed on the music therapeutic benefits and uses. Significant findings from the clinical studies have shown that the effects of music therapy are positive and powerful for people with anxiety issues, sleep disorders, physical health problems, and diseases like cancer. While music therapy is not a substitute for addiction treatment, it can be a beneficial component.

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