New Year and New Resolutions – How Music Therapy Can Contribute to Wellness

Happy 2020! 

A new year often brings resolutions for a better quality of life. One of your New Year’s resolutions might be to enhance yours and/or your family’s overall sense of wellness. At this time of year, many will start new diets or join fitness clubs to get in better shape, but have you thought about what role Music Therapy might play in addressing the wellness of your body, mind, emotion, and spirit? Wouldn’t you be interested in reducing your chance of illness by learning to manage stress? Wouldn’t you like to experience more energy, more personal development, more daily enjoyment, more satisfying relationships, and more feelings of belonging?

According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Music Therapy in wellness is defined as “the specialized use of music to enhance quality of life, maximize well being and potential, and increase self-awareness.” (2005)

There are two types of music activities that are used in Music Therapy for wellness:


  • Passive Music
  • Active Music


Passive music
includes listening to music specifically programmed to evoke a particular mood, such as using relaxing music to obtain more restful sleep, or turning on music while doing house cleaning to energize your body. Listening to specific styles of music can have specific effects on your physiology. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that by listening to relaxing music, you are increasing your overall immune response? Passive music also refers to meditation to music, and other “sound and vibration therapies” such as vibroacoustic therapy and the use of crystal singing bowls, which uses different tones and vibrations being felt in the different parts of the body to help rebalance cells.


On the other end of the spectrum of Music Therapy for wellness is Active Music Making. This type of Music Therapy can powerfully influence your thoughts and feelings, leading to an expansion of your mental abilities and providing physical and all-encompassing relief from the stresses of daily life. An example of active music making is drumming. Have you ever joined a drumming circle before? Or joined a singing group? For those who have, it clearly becomes a stimulus for long-term wellness, contributing to both positive self-esteem and good self-care. It can also help you to create bonds of friendship which further contribute to wellness.


Let me know how I can further help you achieve your goals for wellness in yours or your family’s lives. Hope to see everyone at the Open House! 


Kim McMillin

RN, MA, MT-BC, LMHC, LMFT (CO) Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Board Certified Music Therapist

I am passionate about helping others to find the goodness within them and to heal the barriers that prevent them from embracing the light of goodness inside. Each of us comes into this world as a magnificent sun. What often trips us up is that we learn to identify with the clouds — ugly things…