3 Incredible Benefits of Art and Music Therapy

Illustration by Van Masha

There are many therapy options available to treat addiction. From the traditional 12-step program to new, holistic treatments, there is bound to be a treatment program out there to help everyone. One type of therapy that is commonly overlooked for recovering addicts is art and music therapy.

Using art and music to overcome addiction is usually not what is thought of when you think of addiction and recovery. However, iN Education explains how this type of therapy has many profound benefits for those recovering from substance abuse.


Outlet for Communication


Art and music therapies provide a safe, productive outlet for recovering addicts to express what they fill. Communication is vital for the success of any treatment. Without fully understanding what is going through the addict’s head, it can be difficult for a therapist to design a treatment plan or help them overcome obstacles. Perhaps not surprisingly, many recovering addicts find it hard to accurately express their emotions. It is very common to struggle with your words or skirt around the underlying issue. This can make therapy difficult or even impossible.

Art and music therapy give the recovering addict a way to express their emotions without muddling them up with words. If you have trouble communicating what you’re feeling or helping others understand your thoughts, this type of therapy might be just what you need to get started.


Fills a Void


Addiction often develops out of the hobby of using substances. It is what addicts do in their free time, think about it at night, and even use to meet like-minded people. When you suddenly take that hobby away, it often leaves a void in your life.

Art therapy provides a means for recovering addicts to fill that void, decreasing their chance of relapse. Leisure activities like art and music build confidence, reduce stress, open up the door to new friends, and increase overall happiness. According to Be Brain Fit, art can even increase neuroplasticity, which affects your emotional resilience and how you cope with stress.

An illustration of a kid with doddle-like hair is drawing scribbles on the whiteboard—an illustration by Van Masha.
An illustration of a kid with doddle-like hair is drawing scribbles on the whiteboard—an illustration by Van Masha.



Stress is intimately tied to relapse. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to turn back toward old, unhealthy coping mechanisms. This can increase the chances of a recovering addict relapsing, no matter how long they’ve been sober.

Music and art provide a relaxing effect that can prevent stress from building up and eliminate what stress you already have. Psych Central has even reported that music can be a handy stress management tool. Music and art are both connected to our emotions. By listening to music that is calming, you reduce the stress you are experiencing. To maximize your relaxation, take steps to create a calm space in your home that is free of clutter. Too much chaos can increase your stress and anxiety, which will negate any positive effects of the music you enjoy.


So, Now What?


If you decide that music or art therapy sounds like a good option for you, you need to find a certified art or music therapist in your area. For this type of treatment to be successful, it is necessary to work with someone who is trained and certified.

Your therapist might use the art or music you create in a number of ways. For example, they might talk about the symbols you paint and use them as a springboard to look deeper into your problems. Or your therapist might use the creation of the art itself as a means to help you cope with your addiction. Art and music therapy can even be focused solely on stress relief.

The main benefits and uses these types of therapy will have for you depend a lot on your personal preferences and needs. Working closely with a trained professional can help ensure that you get everything you need out of the process.

You may even consider starting a business in the creative industry. Turning your passion into a career is among the most rewarding objectives a person can achieve. If you decide to make the leap, make sure you check off some basic tasks to help launch your business, such as forming a legal structure (i.e., partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.) and applying for small business grants. When you’re starting a business with bad credit, grants are an excellent way to get funding without having to take out a high-interest bank loan. It takes some work and due diligence upfront, but living your dream is the reward.

Art and music therapy have tons of benefits for recovering addicts and might be exactly what you’re looking for. Working with a trained therapist is very important, however, and should be your first step toward trying this type of therapy.


If your child is interested in arts, get them involved in the Battle of the Teal offered through iN Education. This platform was designed to help K-12 students express, engage, and connect through the power of art. Click here to learn more.



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