Music Therapy: How Binaural Beats Music Can Help Reduce Depression

How Binaural Beats Music Can Help Reduce Depression

When it comes to dealing with depression and trying to reduce it, binaural beats music is one of the best things you can try out. Not many people might know about this, but this kind of music therapy can work wonders when it comes to fighting depression.

Studies show music can improve mood and reduce anxiety. More specifically, meaningful music shifts our neurobiology, tapping brain systems that involve emotion, sensation, attention, mood, and motivation. Music can also ease pain, lower heart rate, blood pressure, and other autonomic responses.

Music has long been used to reduce depression, generally in the mode of passive/receptive approaches, otherwise known as listening. In the last few decades, research on specific musical treatments that target frequency patterns in the brain has gained more mainstream notice. The field is known as Binaural Beats Music.

Related: Music Therapy for depression – how can it heal you?

It’s All About Frequency

The Binaural Beats technology was discovered in 1839 by the German physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. This approach involved using different sound frequencies and measuring brain changes. The binaural experience occurred when two sounds of different frequencies were released in a headset—each in one ear simultaneously—and how the brain adjusted to the sensory difference.

What Dove discovered is that the brain perceived the experience by creating a single new frequency tone. And at different frequency levels, Dove noticed patients reported either alertness, restfulness, relaxation, and other such cognitive/emotional responses.

Binaural Beats was further studied in 1973 at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Scientists there used the Binaural Beats technology and blended them into music—which resulted in patients experiencing a variety of physical and emotional benefits. From there, Binaural Beats has evolved into a form of music therapy that can offer significant benefits for improving mood, concentration, attention, and sleep.

binaural beats
Music Therapy: How Binaural Beats Music Can Help Reduce Depression

Understanding Frequency Levels

 Studies show that Binaural Beats at specific frequency levels offer different experiences.

  • Delta pattern: Binaural beats in the delta pattern operates at a frequency of 0.5–4 Hz. Studies show that using this pattern can encourage deeper stages of sleep.
  • Theta pattern: Binaural Beats in the theta pattern operates at a frequency of 4–-7 Hz. Theta patterns improved relaxation, mood, and creativity.
  • Alpha pattern: Binaural Beats in the alpha pattern is at a frequency of 7–13 Hz and have been shown to promote relaxation.
  • Beta pattern: Binaural Beats in the beta pattern is at a frequency of 13–30 Hz. This frequency improves concentration and alertness. However, it can also increase anxiety at the higher end of the range, so one needs to be mindful about using this kind of music.
  • Gamma pattern: This frequency pattern accounts for a range between 30–50 Hz. Studies show that these frequencies promote the maintenance of arousal while a person is awake. So if you want to be alert and improve concentration, Gamma is where that’s at.

Related: The Healing Power of Music: How Music Therapy Improves Mental Health

Binaural Beats for Depression

For easing the symptoms of depression, listening to Binaural Beats with alpha, delta, or theta music can offer the following benefits:

1. Deep relaxed state

2. Improved mood

3. Improved motivation

4. Improved sleep cycle

5. Increased focus

6. Reduced anxiety

Music Therapy: How Binaural Beats Music Can Help Reduce Depression
Music Therapy: How Binaural Beats Music Can Help Reduce Depression

How to Use Binaural Beats

There are several items you will need to buy to experience Binaural Beats Music. You must also spend time exploring this holistic approach. Lastly, Binaural Beats Music is cautioned for adults who may have heart issues or epilepsy. So checking in with your medical physician is a good idea before trying any holistic approach.

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Deborah Serani

As a young girl, Deborah Serani descended into a debilitating depression - and at age 19, became suicidal. The fallout from this major depressive episode required her to take a medical leave from college in order to recover. Crediting psychotherapy as life-saving, she directed her focus to the field of psychology. Now in practice for 30 years in New York, Dr. Serani uses her personal experiences with depression to inform her professional work as a clinician, author, and professor. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues, with interviews in Newsday, The Chicago Tribune, Women's Health and Fitness, The New York Times, Scientific American Mind, and affiliate radio programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. Dr. Serani has also worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.View Author posts