Can classical music help people with depression?

This article will discuss if classical music can help people struggling with depression. It will show what studies have discovered around the theme, and what are the main benefits of classical music when you are depressed.

Can classical music help people with depression? 

Yes, through a Mexican study it was discovered that classical music can have as many, if not more, benefits than talk therapy when a person is depressed. This study that was done in 2010 evaluated 79 people that had mild to moderate depression, from 25 to 60 years of age.

None of them were taking medication for their condition. And they were divided into two groups. One group would attend a 30-minute session of talk therapy every week, and the other would be a part of a 50-minute program of classical music, to also happen every week.

In the classical music group, although in the beginning, they didn’t like the idea of classical music too much, by the end they were even asking for more. The pieces of music that were played were Bach’s Italian Concerto and a Concerto Grosso by his contemporary, Archangelo Corelli) and Mozart’sSonata for Two Pianos. 

After each session, both groups were asked to fill a standardized depression scale to assess how their depressive symptoms were each week. Through that, it was possible to find some positive results from the classical music from the fourth week of the experience. 

Between the seventh and eighth week, most of them had observed improvement. The same was observed with participants that went through talk therapy, showing how both of them have therapeutic effects when dealing with depression. 

What is important to highlight, is that even though classical music has an extremely positive effect on people struggling with depression, it can’t be used as a single form of treatment, but much more as a coping strategy one may use in their everyday life. 

They also said how this can be a particular condition, and may not work on everyone, expressing how important it is to maintain your line of treatment.

When discussing why this happens, the group that has made this study says it may be related to an already discovered information, that listening to music can improve the brain plasticity, and it may help the release of dopamine. 

And since depression is often related to a lower level of dopamine, having something that improves it, also improves your depressive symptoms. 

And even though more studies, with a larger group, could make it clearer how classical music can help people with depression, there are other benefits to the person’s well-being related to classical music. Let’s discuss what they are.

What are the main benefits of classical music?

Classical music has been beneficial to people’s well-being in other ways than improving their depressive symptoms. Here are the other benefits.

Help you connect with your emotions 

Music can make you experience a lot of emotions. Through classical music, which is usually slower tempo music, you may be able to connect to your feelings. Which may make it easier for you to express them.

And once you express your feelings, you may have a better ability to handle them, leading you to feel better. Dealing with your emotions can also make you feel more self-assured and confident.

Can classical music help people with depression?

Improve your productivity 

There has been a study about how listening to music can make it a lot easier to do repetitive tasks. That seems to be the explanation as to why people tend to like hearing music when they are doing their house chores, or while they are doing some mundane thing at work.

Relieve your stress and anxiety

Another matter that seems to be related to how listening to classical music may improve depressive symptoms, is research that shows that listening to classical music can lower a person’s cortisol levels. This hormone, which is often called the stress hormone, is usually extremely high in people with depression, and anxiety.

Classical music seems to also reduce the person’s blood flow, creating a sense of relaxation that comes from lower blood pressure, and slowed heart rate.

Build social relationships

Classical music seems, like all forms of music, to be universal. And because it can touch people, it can convey a feeling to everyone, and help people connect through that. 

This sense of connection that comes from music can lead people to feel less alone, which can also be beneficial when you are depressed since it usually makes you more isolated.

Improves your memory 

Another problem often related to depression is the loss of memory, which is often related to difficulty focusing. Listening to Mozart was seen, in studies, as a way to increase the person’s brain activity that is connected to memory.

Improves your creativity

Although it is not a quick fix if you feel blocked, listening to classical music can make it easier for you to access your creative thoughts. So before doing something creative, you may want to listen to some Mozart.

Makes you sleep

Having trouble sleeping is also extremely common in people with depression. And a study has shown that listening to classical music 45 minutes before going to bed can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.

Relieves pain

People with depression usually are more susceptible to pain. And many studies have shown that when people listen to classical music, especially Bach or Beethoven, they will experience less pain. It goes to the point that people will use less pain medication if they listen to classical music.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can classical music help people with depression? 

What are the saddest pieces of classical music? 

There is a lot of classical music that is extremely sad. One of them is called “Sono andari?”, by Puccini, which centers around a woman that is separated from her love. Another one is from Mozart called “Requiem”.

Another sad piece is the one called “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar, as well as “Adagio” by Samuel Barber, and “Adagio in G Minor” by Tomasso Albinoni. Along with those, there is “Come, Sweet Death” by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Henry Gorecki also performs the sad “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”, and another sad classical music is “Dido’s Lament” performed by Henry Purcell. Finally, if you are looking for another sad classical song, you can listen to the “Symphony n•6, fourth movement” by Pyotr Ilyich, and “V’ho ingannato” by Giuseppe Verdi.

Why do people cry when listening to classical music?

It can happen that when a person is listening to classical music, they can experience tears or chills, or even tingles. This can be a common response to listening to music because the person will have a psychological response to it.

That will activate the person’s parasympathetic nervous system, as well as the reward part of the brain. That is why some people may cry when they listen to music. This usually happens to 25% of people.

What is it called when you feel the music?

When you have that experience that you feel the music deeply is called Frissom. When you experience frissom, you will experience chills and goosebumps as you hear a piece of music. This is a common manifestation that happens to 55 to 86% of people.

What is a fuzzy brain?

Fuzzy brain, also known as brain fog, is when you have that feeling like your brain is cloudy. It can lead to problems in your memory, confusion, difficulty focusing, and lack of mental clarity. It also leads to insomnia, headaches, low energy levels, and mood swings. You could also become more irritable

It can usually happen if you are working too much, are going through a stressful situation, hasn’t been sleeping properly, or even if you spend too much time in front of a screen. To deal with brain fog, you should try to live a healthy life. Exercising, and eating well will help you a lot.

You should also work on your sleeping routine, and avoid alcohol or caffeine drinks. Spending time doing things you love and away from the screens can also be great to reduce your stress levels, leading you to feel better.

How can I reset myself mentally?

If you feel like you need to reset yourself mentally there are some things you can do. The first thing you need to do is to create a stable routine for yourself. Try to wake up early, do some exercise, or try to do things that nourish you. This will put your day to a great start.

Try to be social. Being in touch with people, and trying to have a conversation with them will improve your sense of isolation. And if you can’t be in touch with people face to face, you can do it virtually. 

You can also try to practice some techniques to center yourself such as mindfulness or meditation which will help you center yourself, and focus on yourself.

Thinking about how your relationships work for you is also incredibly important. Understanding which of them brings you happiness, which you want to strengthen, and what are the ones that no longer make sense will help you deal with issues in a relationship.

Having things in your life that you enjoy is also a positive way to restart yourself mentally. Discover your hobbies and what gives you happiness and allow yourself to do those things. 

Having a healthy lifestyle, in which you eat, and sleep well will also improve your mental state. Exercising will surely improve your mood and sense of accomplishment.

And finally, try to keep a positive outlook in life. This doesn’t mean ignoring the hard times, but rather focusing on other possibilities in life.

Why are some people so attached to music?

Some people can feel music deeply. And some will get intensely attached to it. That is because music can make the person’s pleasure part of the brain light up. When this area called the mesolimbic pathway receives the stimuli, the reward system of the person’s brain will give them a happy feeling.

Aside from that, music will also impact another area in the brain called the amygdala. This area is responsible for modulating the emotional networks, along with the amygdala, music also impacts the hippocampus, which focuses on emotions and attachment. With all that being stimulated, you will for sure feel attached to the music you are listening to.


This article centered around classical music, and how it can help people that are going through depression. The article showed what science has discovered about the theme, and the biggest benefits of classical music.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


The Science Behind Why Classical Music Is Good for Mental Health