When Classical Goes Clinical: The Best Composers to Listen to While Healing

28 December 2016

Let’s face it: not all of us are ready to turn on Rachmaninoff when we come home from work at the end of the day or when we go on a road trip with our friends. We all have our own musical preferences and they don’t all skew toward the classical genre. Like everything else, there’s a time and a place for every kind of music. Sometimes we want nothing more than take our aggression out while listening to Black Flag’s “Damaged”; sometimes we want to lose ourselves in the jangly melancholy of the Smiths; sometimes we need a track from Jay-Z to get us hyped up and sometimes we just want something we can ignore while we clean our houses.

More and more, classical music has found a new sense of place in the most unlikely environment: the doctor’s office. Certain composers’ works have been found to be effective in the alleviation of chronic and acute health conditions like depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, chronic pain and many others. Slower-tempo music is playing an increasingly significant role in the treatment of many physical and psychological health disorders.

Who, then, are some of the composers responsible for this healing renaissance?

Johann Sebastian Bach – From chronic pain to anxiety, the Austrian-born Bach has been helping more and more patients heal from a variety of conditions. His influence has been experienced by both adult and pediatric patients.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – A 2016 study reveals the powers of Mozart and Straus in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).Works by the two composers were found to be significantly more beneficial than contemporary artists like ABBA.

Johannes Brahms – Brahms’ works have been celebrated throughout the world as a healing force for patients looking increase their energy, achieve inner calm and balance their physical and psychological wellness. The composer has been found to help listeners reduce their stress levels as well.

Other composers used to in clinical treatment include Beethoven, Wagner, Mendelssohn and many others. Embracing these works may take us a bit out of our comfort zone; but it’s important, whether or not we’re suffering from any kind of affliction to branch out and continue our musical education however possible. In the end, we just might find an unlikely source of healing and inspiration when we open our eyes and our ears.

These are just a few of the practical healing benefits of music. In an effort to provide further education regarding this invaluable therapeutic resource, Recovery Unplugged has released a new eBook on the healing properties of music in everyday life. We are committed to relaying music’s benefits before, during and after treatment or any other type of clinical intervention.