Beyond the Beats & How Music Therapy Builds Mental Strength

Beyond the Beats & How Music Therapy Builds Mental Strength

Could your favourite song be hitting you up with a resilience boost?

Music has long been recognised as an enchanting force that transcends time and space. By stirring up emotions, evoking memories and even transporting us to different worlds. But beyond music’s aesthetic appeal, and moving qualities, music therapy shows us how we can address emotional, cognitive, and social needs by helping us build the necessary coping skills for when life get tough – aka building resilience.

Music Art Culture The Indigo Project

First up, what is music therapy?

Music therapy is a research-based therapy that uses sound, rhythm and harmony during therapy sessions. The Indigo Projects music therapists are trained to create musical experiences where clients may listen, sing, interpret, and/or create music playing different instruments.

The best part is, you don’t even have to be musically inclined – music therapists plan and provide the musical experiences tailored to you depending on your level of skill and needs.

Music therapy has loads of benefits and can help to:

  1. Explore your emotions
  2. Regulate your mood
  3. Reduce pain
  4. Improve memory
  5. Build social and communication skills and;
  6. Even help with physical coordination, motor functions and movement

Let’s dive into the specific ways a typical music therapy session can help us build mental resilience when life throws us curve balls:

Emotional expression and regulation

Within the enchanting realm of melodies and rhythms, we can find a safe space to express our feelings that may otherwise be too challenging or confronting to articulate verbally. Whether it’s through playing an instrument or singing/humming, the therapeutic space invites a cathartic release, as well as a deep sense of agency through song, that helps us to take control of our narrative and ultimately cope with whatever struggles we are facing.

Stress reduction and relaxation

Engaging in calming musical experiences promotes a sense of rest and relaxation. Basically, certain sounds can help lower cortisol production and therefore help with stress management. Sounds can transport our minds to a place of peace, and finding pockets of piece to recharge allows us to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease – they don’t call it sound healing for nothing.

Cognitive stimulation

Music therapy acts as a cognitive workout by stimulating brain regions that help to build mental resilience. The nature of musical activities within a therapy session engages these brain regions which enhances memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. The mental agility required to create and interpret music, fosters resilience as it translates into a more adaptive response to stress.

Present-moment focus

At its core, music therapy encourages mindful listening and intentional engagement with sound. By immersing ourselves in song, we develop a heightened state of mindfulness. This cultivates mental resilience as we can learn to be grounded in the here and now. When this is done repeatedly, we may even experience “flow” – a state of complete energised focus and fulfilment – or being “in the zone.”

Coping skills

Music therapy teaches us to navigate challenges by incorporating musical practices into our coping toolkit. The repetitive nature of music provides a reliable framework for empowering us to face difficulties with increased self-assuredness. Think of a musical piece like visualisation (aka just as you imagine your happy place when feeling stressed, you can also think of a melody to ground you).


Group music therapy sessions create a sense of social connectedness and harmony. Sharing musical experiences with others strengthens interpersonal relationships and reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sharing music within a therapeutic space fosters a communal resilience that transcends individual hardship, it represents strength in numbers and the universal experience that people need people to cope.


Success in musical activities fosters a sense of accomplishment, growth, and empowerment. We may develop a belief in our ability to create, interpret, and master musical elements. This translates into increased self-efficacy that helps us to face life’s difficulties as it teachers us that we can overcome hurdles (think about when you finally get that guitar riff, or hit that note) – the sense of personal achievement becomes a cornerstone for resilience.

Music Therapy is for everyone.

Music therapy holds the power to transcend cultural and linguistic barries, providing a universal medium that serves as a bridge between people from diverse backgrounds. As an evolving field, music therapy continues to reveal new ways to promote mental health and resilience. It offers a unique and meaningful way for people to navigate the twists and turns of life, with expression, and connection.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a certified music therapist who can assess your specific needs and tailor sessions to your needs and goals. Music therapy is designed to be inclusive and adaptable, making it super accessible to a broad range of people. However, if you have specific questions, get some clarity and guidance regarding how effective music therapy could be for you. 

To get more info, get in touch via (02) 9212 5469 or [email protected] – or get matched to a therapist now by using our quiz.

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dr navit gohar-kadar, Clinical Psychologist


maja czerniawska, Senior Psychologist


eunice cheung, Psychotherapist & Counsellor


ayanthi de silva, Registered Psychologist


tayla gardner, Psychotherapist & Counsellor


katie odonoghue, Relationship Coach & Couples Therapist


lorna macaulay, Senior Psychologist


annia baron, Clinical Psychologist


shuktika bose, Clinical Psychologist


deepika gupta, Clinical Psychologist


eva fritz, Senior Psychologist


dr emer mcdermott, Clinical Psychologist


nicole burling, Senior Psychologist


natasha kasselis, Senior Psychologist


dr perry morrison, Senior Psychologist


gaynor connor, Psychotherapist & Counsellor


shauntelle benjamin, Registered Psychologist


liz kirby, Psychotherapist & Counsellor


sam barr, Clinical Psychologist


darren everett, Senior Psychologist


jamie de bruyn, Senior Psychologist

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