Monthly Archives: January 2024

How Music Helps to Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the new year, and with it comes all the reflection and hopes of a better year ahead. Many of us have set goals for 2024, whether they be physical, mental, financial, relationship, or work related. Unfortunately, statistics show an estimated 80% of new years resolutions are broken within the first few weeks. However, there is hope. There are many resources that provide helpful methods for staying within that elusive twenty percentile. Music has been shown, in several ways, as one such method to help achieve goals. For example, Improved fitness (48%) and improved mental health (36%) both ranked in the top five most common new year’s resolutions. Both of these goals have a heavy physiological element to them, and music has been shown to help.

Music Helps Kick Addiction

Addiction is when you have a strong physical or psychological urge or need to do something or use something. Goals regarding improved mental or physical health are often associated with some kind of addiction. The association between addiction and adverse physical and mental well-being is well documented. Whether the goal is it to stop drinking as a coping mechanism, give up sweets or excessive eating, cutting down screen time, or to quit smoking, the addiction typically influences the physical or mental ailment. Music has been shown to help with addiction in several ways, therefore helping to achieve physiological goals.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Music therapy and music-based interventions have been used for some time to treat all kinds of compulsive and addictive behavior. Music therapy treatments include music listening, songwriting, music assisted meditation/mediation, and active music making. Simply listening to music helps to open the mind to learn new useful insights through therapy. Furthermore, music has been shown to increase one’s tolerance for frustration, improve interpersonal communication and self-esteem. All of these benefits of music therapy help to calm those who may be having physical and mental withdrawals from impulsive actions or addictive behavior. The act of learning or practicing music also provides another benefit for those who are trying to reach new life goals.

Learning Music Helps to Keep and Redirect Focus

We are all familiar with the adage “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” When we are striving to achieve new goals or keep resolutions, especially when it involves avoiding addictive behavior, it is often helpful to have something new on which to focus. This helps to keep our minds (and hands) away from the unwanted behavior we are trying to change. Learning a musical instrument is beneficial in many forms, including improved cognitive function, mindfulness, and discipline. Many addictions are physical as well as mental, often having tactile associations. Learning a musical instrument provides new tactile sensation and occupation. For example, the hand to mouth fixation of smoking or drinking can be purposefully interrupted and replaced by learning to play a keyboard. Finally, learning a musical instrument creates new pleasure associations that can replace addictive behaviors, while providing achievement that can be easily realized.

Music can be a catalyst to help those who have set new goals and resolutions for the new year. It provides a tangible and measurable example in which to see results and realize potential. It helps to calm and create an open mind, while providing a form of replacement for undesired behaviors. Learning music at an early age, such as engaging in early childhood music programs, prepares children to achieve their goals later in life.