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Music Media and Mental Health


Mass media and mental health are connected in several ways. The content an individual consumes affects their perspective and level of sanity differently. This topic holds a great idea in society, considering major approaches towards looking into media’s influence on everyone. The capacity of media to dictate a perspective, influence narratives, and work out key approaches to manage individual perspectives influences the creation of meaningful steps to work out and indulge in several actions designed to keep the value and sustainability of one’s line of thought in line. Hence, the mental health of modern humans is shaped by what they consume from the media, as it channels their perspective and informs their thought and convictions about specific topics.

Studying the mental impact of music and media carries great weight in contemporary society. It highlights key regions and points that society has to consider in determining, engaging, and affirming the nature of interactions with media sources. In this case, the mass media avenues, such as video games, cinemas, and music, have to be evaluated based on the information of someone’s perspective and the potential influence that they have. Bringing in a mental health perspective to look into every inclusion marks the chance to develop, address and manage the creation of a critical step to indulge in several schemes to achieve sufficient value address (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Hence, the study is important in determining further approaches to be used in helping to handle mental health, mass media, and bring out regulatory management to secure the future of society. Nonetheless, studying mental health and its connection to music and mass media provides a sufficient point and platform to ensure sustainability in administering key thought actions to encourage the functionality of every segment toward making the entire society healthier. Therefore, the subject has a great instrumentality to help adjust and administer beneficial ways to look into mental health and its connection to media.

Background/Review of Literature

The study has the main purpose of looking into the connection between mental health and mass media. This study evaluates how mass media avenues such as films, music, and video games influence an individual’s mental health. The connection is located by considering the influence of content on these platforms, enhancing and determining the considerable sustainability in achieving each inference. Hence, the study’s main purpose is to show the connection between mental health and mass media platforms.

On the other hand, the study’s hypothesis states that consuming music, media, and video games significantly influences an individual’s mental health. This implies that mental health occurs within an individual based on the capacity and potential to be generated to assure beneficial handling of the content one consumes. Thus, this study looks into the likely connection between mental health and content that is pushed to the masses.

This study bears great significance in showing the connection between mental health and mass media. The study will revamp on influences that mass media and content consumption have on an individual’s mental health. Using this study, it will be much easier to generate a perspective that depicts the creation and management of a suitable point of balance for every suitability of addressing the mental health issue. Therefore, this study has great significance in calling for research on regulating and managing mental health as it occurs among the masses.

Bhatt et al. (2015) indicate that there are different ways in which the media influences the thinking of individuals. The social learning approach marks the generation of a key advancement in creating the defined approach to attract certain societal changes. This study indicates that using media to change social beliefs and actions is effective since individuals will watch and learn to engage these beliefs and ideologies in their activities (Bhatt et al., 2015). Hence, the use of media as a platform for learning generates, advances, and marks the considerable management of their growth for having particular sets of actions. Thus, Bhatt et al. (2015) suggest that media is a strong tool that influences the thinking and action of an individual.

Strasburger and Council on Communications and Media (2010) communicate media’s influence on individual perceptions of different objects in the community. The source recounts that the use of media advertisements helps to cultivate a perception among adolescents and young adults that advertised drugs are good for their health (Strasburger and Council on Communications and Media, 2010). Using these mechanisms of advancing the thought creates a perspective that media offers a reality they have to work on. Hence, the source recounts that media influences the ability to use drugs and individual perspectives towards these drugs too.

Anderson et al. (2003) posit that using violent themes in songs increases the possibility of an individual being involved in aggressive thoughts. Listening to music with aggressive themes manifests in their actions, depicting and creating a reliable point of channeling, addressing, and working towards engaging in each of these aspects (Anderson et al., 2003). However, the videos will communicate a theme that will likely affect the nature of an individual’s engagement with the content being displayed. Hence, Anderson et al. (2003) provide a proper perspective depicting that songs with violent themes have a higher correlation to inducing aggressive thoughts among an individual.


In this segment, we go over the fundamental methodological approaches (models) that can be used to study the relationship between internalizing mental health and music listening, including health risks, reparative factor, common cause, mediator, moderators, protective factor, and precipitating factor (Besschetnova et al., 2021). These eight models can be combined or used separately. In bigger concepts, they are particularly helpful for operationalizing and testing exact experimental assumptions. Additionally, prospective or longitudinal designs, measured in terms of days, weeks, months, or years, are ideally used to assess these models properly.

Numerous studies utilize these eight techniques, including cognitive science, social psychology, personality, and developmental, mental health. Along with presenting the techniques, we will also examine how each model might be used to understand certain empirical investigations (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Data from the scholarly studies Along with presenting the techniques, we will examine how each model might be used to understand certain empirical investigations (Bhatt et al., 2015). Data gathered in real-world contexts are especially interesting since they could have more consistency in the peer-reviewed literature. Experiential Purposive Sampling arbitrarily selects ordinary life experiences, producing some of the most ecologically valid data (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Sadly, there is still little of this data in music psychology. Therefore, we concentrated on correlational studies that used daily life conscience.

The most popular approach for researching regular music exposure is still self-report data from correlational designs. Empirical studies had to meet the following requirements to be chosen for this review of the literature: (a) they had to be published in a peer-reviewed journal; (b) they had to present empirical findings for participants of any age; (c) they had to have a correlational design with self-report data; (d) they had to assess any music listening behavior; and (e) they had to evaluate internalizing symptoms broadly defined (Besschetnova et al., 2021). The succeeding exclusion criteria, on the other hand, led to the rejection of empirical studies: (a) clinical samples, (b) specific professional or educational populations, (c) qualitative data and case studies, (d) data from an experimental design, evaluation of prevention/intervention programs, (e) musical behaviors related to playing music or dancing to music, and (f) personality traits.

In October 2009, three databases—NCBI (covering the years 1910 to 2019), Jstor (covering the years 1980 to 2020), and Asa AgeLine—were thoroughly searched (years 1980 to 2019) (Besschetnova et al., 2021). In January 2010, more searches had not turned up any fresh research (Besschetnova et al., 2021). The terms were chosen to encompass as much research on music (such as music and music perception) and integrate mental health as feasible (e.g., internalizing, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and social withdrawal). One thousand four hundred papers were produced from the combination of themes. These 50 prospective studies were thoroughly evaluated to see if they met the exclusion requirements or offered further references (Besschetnova et al., 2021).

Our criteria for inclusion were satisfied by a total of four empirical investigations included in this literature review. Risk factors (independent variables) in a potential risk model can forecast an escalation or onset of a certain mental health condition (dependent variable). For instance, a behavior like listening to music that indicates greater levels of internalizing mental health might be a potential risk (Anderson et al., 2003). No long-term research has yet shown that listening to music increases the likelihood of developing internalized mental illness (Besschetnova et al., 2021). According to the longitudinal study, none of the five musical tastes examined (Metal, Soul, Pop, Classical, and Electronic) was a major risk factor since they did not indicate greater severe outcomes. Teenage anxiety symptoms. Surprisingly, their research revealed that Heavy music (such as heavy metal and industrial rock), where ‘bad’ lyrics and images are explored artistically and are of interest to several adults, was not associated with an increased risk of depressive symptomatology.

According to several cross-sectional research, diverse musical tastes may be concomitantly related to more normalizing mental health. This research frequently mentions Metallica music as a potential risk factor (Anderson et al., 2003). For instance, heavy metal and rock music both predicted greater rates of previous suicidal behavior in university students, and hard rock fans had higher rates of past suicide attempts than non-fans among teenage girls (Anderson et al., 2003). Teenage females who listen to rock/heavy metal music had higher rates of despair and suicidal ideation. Similarly, teenage females who listened to metal music had higher rates of depression.

Other musical tastes have not often been mentioned as potential hazard factors. For instance, increased sadness was associated with rhythmic and intense music (such as hip hop/rap, pop, and R&B) in university and community adult members (Anderson et al., 2003). Additionally, “Limited Rock” (i.e., unique fans of rock music, glam rock, goth, and classic rock) and “Omnivores” (i.e., eclectics with a variety of musical interests) were music taste groups with greater internalizing symptoms among teens. Proto-punk, rap music, and electronic music, which are commonly referred to as “dilemma music,” were shown by Strasburger et al. (2010) to be associated with increased suicidal ideation in college students.


In a common cause/confounding paradigm, the existence of a common cause can lead to an erroneous correlation between two correlations (dependent variable (DV) (independent variable). Therefore, because they both stem from the same origin, music-playing behavior and integrating mental health may be related (Bhatt et al., 2015). The erroneous association would vanish after the shared source (confounder) was statistically controlled.

A particular risk factor may increase a person’s propensity to internalize symptoms and maladaptive musical behaviors, providing the necessary conditions for a chaotic link between music and symptoms. Besschetnova et al. (2021) accounted for confounders (youth drug use, academic difficulties, stress, and sociopathy) in their empirical investigation. Metal, Soul, Pop, Classical, and Techno music choices did not indicate a higher risk of sadness; however, when the variables were considered, folk music could still forecast reduced sadness (Besschetnova et al., 2021).


Other cross-sectional research did not discover parallel associations involving musical tastes and more inner mental health. For instance, Bhatt et al. (2015) sought Metal music listeners (mostly young guys) who engaged in online discussion forums for this style of music. According to their findings, these Metal enthusiasts exhibited low levels of anxiety and sadness. Furthermore, two samples of college students did not discover any associations between musical tastes (reflective/complex, intense/rebellious, upbeat/conventional, or energetic/rhythmic) with higher levels of sadness. According to another cross-sectional research, more internalizing mental health has been associated with certain music-listening reactions or motives.

Additionally, Anderson et al. (2003) observed that emotion-oriented coping by music was related to less anxiety in teenage females whereas avoidance/disengagement coping by music was not. Generally, experimental findings imply that potential risk theories directly connecting musical tastes to more internalizing mental health are not consistently supported. Although limited, continuous data indicates that music tastes do not indicate greater internalizing symptoms (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Cross-sectional research has revealed some parallel relationships between musical tastes (for instance, metal music) and greater normalizing symptoms, particularly in adolescence. Finally, there are growing signs that unhealthy music listening behaviors, such as increased unhappiness and obfuscation coping, may be possible causes for depression problems.

Significance and Conclusion

Music and media may help us access emotions at a deeper level than we could without them, which is important to mental health. It can help give voice to anger, grief, loss, connection, joy, will to live, pain, passion, and love. There is a reason that religion, as well as governments, use music. But the real power of music is when the individual uses it as a ladder to access, express, feel and release emotion. Music is a socially acceptable way to feel and process emotions, even the ones deemed less acceptable. When we connect and authentically experience our emotions, there is release and letting go: healing. Even if it is a temporary relief at first, doing this frequently, bit by bit, relieves a mountain of unexpressed burdens (Anderson et al., 2003). Music has been a part of human civilization from very early on for a reason. It is a helpful method of internal (conscious/subconscious) and external (voice) communication and connection with emotion (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Music helps us speak our truth. In the United States, music therapy refers to the use of music by a board-certified music therapist to assist a client or patient (depending on the context) in achieving higher well-being, either physically or psychologically, or in some mix of the two. By enhancing cardiac output, decreasing blood pressure, improving breathing, reducing heart rate, and easing muscular tension, music therapy can help those who are physically uncomfortable. This treatment is excellent for improving mental health since it helps lessen the frequent negative impacts of stress, such as emotional and behavioral issues (Besschetnova et al., 2021). Music therapy can help to revive memories, lessen agitation, aid communication, and enhance physical coordination since the capacity to engage with music stays intact late in the illness process (Anderson et al., 2003). Anxiety and the physical repercussions of stress are lessened through music therapy. It facilitates healing. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease can be managed with its aid. In older people, music therapy helps to lessen sadness and other symptoms. It aids in easing the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

Music therapy can aid and has been shown to help to enhance anything from a person’s speech to their memory and even their physical balance when music is performed in connection with their thoughts or motions (Strasburger et al., 2010). Additionally, it offers emotional healing and promotes the growth of a healthy self-image (Besschetnova et al., 2021). It helps to reduce tension and anxiety (i.e., children who are anxious or stressed about visiting the dentist tend to experience fewer symptoms after hearing music during operations). The same is true for someone with pain, including acute and chronic pain disorders.


Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media: the effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of personality and social psychology84(5), 960.

Besschetnova, O. V., Volkova, O. A., Aliev, S. I., Ananchenkova, P. I., & Drobysheva, L. N. (2021). The effect of digital mass media on the mental health of children and youth. Problems of Social Hygiene, Public Health, and History of Medicine29(3), 462-467.

Bhatt, M., Blakley, J., Mohanty, N., and Payne, R. (2015). How media shapes perceptions of science and technology for girls and women. Fem Inc.

Strasburger, V. C., & Council on Communications and Media. (2010). Children, adolescents, substance abuse, and the media. Pediatrics126(4), 791-799.


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