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Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD

Long dark nights and shorter days can take its toll on the body and mind. Fewer hours of daylight and sunshine can negatively affect some people causing them to experience low mood and a lack of energy, causing symptoms of depression. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Current treatments include taking certain herbs, counselling or light therapy to improve mood.

With this in mind, Chroma Music Therapists created a playlist to help ‘fight off the winter blues’ as Chroma believe music can be just as effective, if not more so, for those affected by SAD.

A playlist for relieving SAD in Winter

The playlist features songs ranging from the well-known – The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” – through to the more reflective and obscure – Olafur Arnald’s “For Now I am Winter” – the 24 songs have been carefully curated by Chroma, the UK’s only national arts therapy company, for their ability to have a positive effect on mood and attitude.

With winter approaching, it is normal to feel a little dreary, but SAD can cause an individual to experience actual depression. Listening to types of music can help improve mood. Research shows that music has the ability to generate a positive biological response whose structural elements, sensory attributes, and expressive qualities engage the human brain comprehensively and in a complex manner.

For SAD, pre-recorded music is effective as it not only triggers feel-good associations a person may have with a particular song, but there are also fundamental, uplifting messages given by the singer or composer, which the individual may find inspiring or instil hope.

“Active Listening” improves mood

The best way to get the most out of music to shake off the winter blues is to use “active listening.” The individual must make an effort to become involved with the music – the melody, the rhythm and the message in the lyrics, as it is only then that these songs are at their most effective. Research shows that passive music listening will typically not change or intensify mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, as with any form of depression, can feel like there is no hope and no end. Music offers an effective way to help cope with the effects of SAD in a very simple way. Listen to music. Let it guide, inspire and instil a sense of hope within that Seasonal Affective Disorder can be overcome.

Music’s positive influence

Music has been found to be an effective rehabilitative tool for individuals with an acquired brain injury, autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, helping to relax and reduce stress, agitation & anxiety as well as promote cognitive, behavioural and emotional behaviour. The positive effects and benefits are well-documented and should bring comfort to those suffering from SAD that help is available and music therapy does work to help improve mood, help relax, reduce anxiety and enhance an overall sense of wellbeing.

Produced by Chroma, experts in neurological music therapy

This article was produced for Brain Injury Group by Chroma, the UKs leading national provider of arts therapies services. In addition to neurological music therapy, Chroma provide art psychotherapy and dramatherapy.

Find out more about Chroma and how they could assist, by visiting our A-Z of services

What is the Brain Injury Group?

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