Self-Help Music Therapy

Understanding Your Needs

What makes you happy? For some, it is cooking for others. For some others, it is playing a musical instrument. For still others, it is composing poetry. There is no one answer to this question. One of the things we can do to help ourselves through difficult times, is to practice self-care – or in the case of music, perhaps self-soothing.

Music To Soothe

There are a number of things I do to help myself relax, or to change my focus from things that aren’t currently helpful. Sometimes, I pick up my guitar and strum. Sometimes, I go for a long walk, where I can hear the wildlife, breathe deeply and see the beauty around me. Sometimes – like today – I pick up my darbuka (Middle East and North African drum) and play. As I focus on the beat and try to improve, my mind goes to a place that is different than anything else I know. In some ways, it is like meditation, but it is not calm and rather than watching ideas arise and fall away without my grasping them (in meditation), I can run with the feelings that are taking place inside of me.

Lee Jordan with darbuka
Lee Jordan with darbuka

What Will Work For You

Some people find what works by trial and error. Some have friends who introduce them to something and then it is realised how therapeutic the focus is. Drumming for me was something that started when I lived in a beautiful, wee town at the base of a World Heritage Area in New South Wales, Australia. There were many internationals living in this town and there was a drumming circle around a roaring fire on the monthly full moon. It was a special experience to share. You might have some idea of what will work for you – why not explore? While we all need help from time to time, ultimately our mental health is our own responsibility. Perhaps music will help you get through some of life’s challenges.