Whether you’re listening to music or making it, music is a wonderful coping tool that can help recovering addicts avoid cravings and relapse. When you’ve got the tunes playing, there’s something inside that moves. It’s not your intellect or your logic that’s engaged. It’s your heart and emotions. In fact, music can be a medium for exploring what moves you most.

However, at the very least, music can be a coping tool. When you’re feeling angry or triggered or lonely, you can play music. You might even find music that mirrors the way you’re feeling and you can use that as a means of expressing the way you feel. Using music as a way to cope can become a powerful practice throughout your recovery. In fact, it is for many men and women around the world.

The truth is that the better you can cope with the challenges of life, the better your chances of moving past those challenges with ease. If you can stay away from drinking or using drugs and instead find other ways to cope with life’s difficulties, you won’t be contributing to an addiction.

However, it’s not always easy to remember to use healthy coping mechanisms when you’re in the middle of a stressful moment in your life. Plus, most of us don’t even think about coping mechanisms. We don’t give the way we cope with life much thought. We just cope. And we tend to reach for coping tools that we’ve always used, such as drugs or alcohol. However, one essential part of recovery is learning how to replace unhealthy coping tools with healthy ones, and music can be one of them.

According to an online dictionary:

To cope means the ability to deal effectively with something difficult.

An advantage of making music a coping tool is that you can take it almost anywhere you go. You can play music in the car, on the bus ride, as you walk, at home, and possibly at work too. When there is a stressful moment in your day, you can pull out your headphones and let the music ease any challenging thoughts or feelings.

Another incredibly powerful coping tool is making music. This is a great way to release feelings and pent-up emotions. You might want to take some time each day to play the instrument you enjoy. And what’s great is that you don’t have to play perfectly. You can just let the sounds emerge. Just play for the sake of playing, for the fun of it, for the relief of your feelings, or the creativity of it.

In fact, if you’re a drummer, what a great instrument for letting out anger and long-held frustrations. Even if you’re not a drummer, you can put on some of your favorite music and beat to the rhythm. Even if you don’t own a drum set, find two sticks and use that to beat to the rhythm of the music!

Making music as well as listening to music can be a powerful way to heal in recovery.

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