Does Electronic Music Help Depression?

does electronic music help depression

Music industry players have taken steps to destigmatize mental health issues. Many electronic and dance musicians – including Kaskade, Junior Sanchez, Silentmode, How Mental, and Tom Middleton – have spoken openly about their own experiences with depression.

This study utilized a multi-method approach to investigate the effects of music-based interventions on depression and its symptoms using music therapy and music medicine interventions. Results demonstrate that both treatments reduced depressive symptoms, with stronger effects for shorter and medium length intervention periods than longer ones (Fig 1).


Music has long been used to uplift spirits and heal broken hearts, and in modern times research has proven this. One genre that may help alleviate mental health issues like depression is electronic music – characterized by synthesizers and other electronic instruments as well as its unique sound that has the ability to alter our moods and emotions in many different ways.

Electronic music dates back to the early 1900s. At that time, electronic instruments like Telharmoniums (an electrical organ), Hammond organs, Ondes Martenots (musical instruments played by ringing along wires), or theremins first began being widely utilized by musicians. These instruments could produce an array of sounds not possible with traditional acoustic instruments, giving rise to popular electronic music during the 1960s and popular rock bands such as Silver Apples or The Beach Boys using synthesizers as part of their sound. Karlheinz Stockhausen later composed Mikrophonie I and Mixtur using various electronic devices such as oscillators or ring modulators, while also experimenting with circuit bending – creating short circuits to produce experimental electronic instruments focusing on exploring timbre rather than pitch and rhythm.

Recent years have seen many musicians experience mental health problems. This may be partially attributable to working in the music industry and experiencing pressures such as rejection from other musicians; furthermore, electronic musicians may feel discouraged after experiencing rejection from fellow musicians, which may lead to low self-esteem and confidence levels; it is therefore vital that electronic musicians take steps to maintain good mental fitness by seeking treatment when necessary.

Beatport and their partnership with AFEM have taken multiple initiatives to promote mental health within the music industry, including raising awareness and providing resources to help those experiencing challenges with their mental wellbeing. Their mental health guide offers key contacts in each country as well as information about common conditions like anxiety and depression as well as helpful suggestions on where and how to seek assistance.


Electronic Dance Music (EDM) can be an effective way to reduce stress and enhance mood for those experiencing depression. Its upbeat rhythms can boost energy levels and productivity while helping you sleep better – not forgetting its overall health benefits as well. Just keep in mind that music may have different impacts on different people.

Studies have demonstrated the positive benefits of music listening on activating our brain’s reward system and releasing our favorite feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, while simultaneously decreasing stress hormones and improving cognitive function. According to one study participants who listened to music experienced significant reductions in depressive symptoms; however, results may have been affected by selection bias and use of clinical diagnostic scales instead of self-report measures in this research project.

Researchers recently examined the effects of music therapy on anhedonia among individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Twenty participants participated and underwent 5 weeks of music-based therapy using instrumental music containing low-frequency sounds that were transmitted through a portable consumer device that converted these sounds into vibrotactile sensations around their lower backs. Results of this research demonstrated an improvement in anhedonia symptoms correlated to changes in emotion regulation, pain tolerance and emotional distress indices.

A meta-analysis of 55 studies similarly concluded that music therapy had an average treatment effect of 62% for depression symptoms. This result was obtained using different measures such as Beck Depression Inventory, Children’s Depression Rating Scale, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS). However, these results may have been affected by its definition of music therapy which included both active and passive musical-based interventions in this analysis.

Mental health affects us all, but musicians should take special care to protect their mental wellbeing. The pressures of the industry may lead to depression, anxiety and substance abuse – it’s vital for musicians to discuss any difficulties related to mental health with trusted colleagues or seek professional help when necessary.


Depression is more than simply feeling sad or low; it affects how we think, feel and approach everyday activities. While depression can be debilitating at first glance, with help and treatment it can become manageable over time.

Depression symptoms may include losing interest or pleasure in previously pleasurable activities, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, an excessively negative outlook on life, an inability to focus or remember things, or sleeping too much. Depression may also lead to physical complications like difficulty eating, frequent headaches or feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

Depression affects everyone differently; it can occur after experiencing an emotionally taxing event, grievance, loss or breakup; it can also arise due to medical conditions like anemia, hypothyroidism or vitamin D deficiency; it’s particularly prevalent during pregnancy and the year postpartum (known as the perinatal period); but sometimes depression strikes without apparent cause.

Traumatized or beleaguered children may be more prone to developing depression as adults. While it often has no clear cause, symptoms could include illness, financial woes, drug or alcohol misuse and long-term pain.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often seen during winter, occurs when symptoms arise and subside during certain times of year due to changes in light levels. Researchers suspect this change may be responsible.

Beatport recently took an unprecedented step to destigmatize mental health within the industry by joining forces with AFEM, Silentmode, How Mental and Tom Middleton to launch “Music Connects Us”. This featured interviews with prominent musicians in electronic music genre such as Kaskade, Junior Sanchez, Yousef, Sarah Story and Scuba who shared their personal accounts of depression coping strategies – some shared by Covid-19 pandemic victims as well as Scuba herself. After its outbreak more artists have spoken up publicly about their own struggles – particularly BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe who shared his personal struggle against anxiety and depression in his own life.


No matter the cause of depression, non-invasive remedies exist that may help alleviate symptoms. Two such non-invasive approaches include music therapy and brain training. Music can stimulate endorphin release, reduce cortisol levels and boost cognitive performance – making it an invaluable addition to healthy lifestyle choices such as Lumosity.

The authors reviewed 55 trials that examined music therapy and music medicine, using a standardised data extraction form and Cochrane’s tool for risk of bias assessment. A random effects model was then used to estimate pooled effects with 95% confidence intervals; they further explored how trial, intervention, and population characteristics might have an impact on treatment outcomes.

These researchers found that music therapy significantly reduced depressive symptoms and enhanced quality of life, but results varied for music medicine. Furthermore, they discovered that specific music therapy techniques had greater success at alleviating depressive symptoms than other forms of music. Thus they advised future studies should concentrate on these specific musical therapy techniques.

One study involved participants listening to music for 20 minutes daily over three months. Researchers tracked changes in clinical measures of depression symptoms, sleep quality and anhedonia as well as surveying them about their experiences during treatment as well as administering a behavioral hedonic function task.

Depression’s symptoms are complex, making diagnosis and treatment challenging. If you suspect having mental illness, seek professional medical advice immediately. To explore electronic music as a potential therapy option, speak to a therapist and listen to various compositions until finding one that helps make you feel better; once this has been accomplished, create a playlist which will support this goal.

Researchers conducted a recent survey among people exposed to electronic music who reported increased mood and decreased stress levels, possibly as a result of its emotional connection between listener and music. The research paper on this was published in PLoS ONE journal.