Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Used for healthy individuals as well as patients in all types of recovery, including addiction, music therapy is a great support for physical exercise as well as mental stimulation and concentration.

In Scottsdale, AZ, music therapy is offered at Scottsdale Recovery Center for customized patient recovery in a relaxing environment. The Music Therapy Program we offer is guided by a licensed professional, who will use proven techniques in order to achieve a successful intervention– unique to each patient!

Music Therapy Helps With Disorders Related to Addiction

Many individuals who suffer from addiction also suffer from a dual diagnosis condition, such as major depression. These co-morbid diagnoses could be partly responsible for the drug abuse problems or they could be the result of the drug use.  Regardless of the reasons the other condition exists, the treatment program selected must address both issues simultaneously.

What Can Music Therapy Do to Help Addiction?

According to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, music stimulates certain activities in the brain than can assuage the effects of addiction.  For instance, music can help produce GABA inhibitors.  These neurotransmitters are responsible for the balancing of the neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine.  If the brain is producing the right amount of this important neurotransmitter, then the brain can properly monitor the amount of dopamine released and retrieved between neurons.  They prevent the receptors from becoming over-stimulated.

Another benefit of music has been proven time and time again in everyday settings.  Have you ever been down and put on your favorite music to lift your spirits?  How many times have you been driving in a car and “that one song” comes on the radio?  You find yourself screaming, “Turn it up!” and for the next few minutes, you are happy.  Even if it is your favorite sad song, you can get lost in it and it makes you feel better for having heard the melody and the lyrics.

This isn’t a strange or unique occurrence. The truth is that music affects the release of dopamine in our brains, just like drugs, and just like any other activity that makes us feel good.  The same dopamine that is released in excess when we use drugs is released in the correct proportions when we listen to or create music. Music makes us feel better.

When dealing with an addiction, it is important to retrain the neurons in the brain to create the neurotransmitters, like dopamine, that are responsible for making us feel good about ourselves, and our lives.

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • Stress Management
  • Encourage Physical Recovery
  • Pain Relief
  • Overall Well-being
  • Express Feelings
  • Sharpen Memory Recollection
  • Enhance Communication
  • Behavioral problems


Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings. (Source AMTA, 2013)