Music can serve as a powerful stress reliever. For many, music is highly therapeutic. I can attest to it myself because I use many genres of music to cope with stress and anxiety.

There's a song for every emotion: something to get me up and going, something to calm me down and everything in between. I have a profound passion for music, and if it were not for it, I would not be able to manage my mental sanity. Although, there are some people who love music as I do, there are others that don't believe in its magic. Those people may wonder, what is music therapy? Well, if you understand the concept of therapy, it shouldn't be a difficult concept to grasp.

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.

Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas, such as overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings (Defined by musictherapy.org).

Everything I do literally involves music; I sleep to music and wake up to it every day. In my honest opinion, music is all around us, all you have to do is listen. I first discovered music as therapy when I was twelve years old and it has been an outlet for me ever since. Over the years, I've crossed paths with many others who have similar views about music. There are many people who aren't comfortable talking to a human therapist, so they express themselves through music. Most musicians today compose lyrics to express the stress and hard times they have experienced. They express themselves as therapy and fans listen to their music for the same reasons.

As a college student, I have experienced a lot of anxiety throughout these past two semesters. I'm sure it is safe to say that many college students have experienced the same thing. Whenever I'm stressed out about midterms, finals, or research papers, I immediately turn to music like never before. I listen to smooth jazz, reggae, R&B, and classical music while studying for midterms and finals.

However, if I need the motivation to get started on an assignment that seems impossible, I turn on one of my favorite upbeat songs. My process of completing assignments includes music and there are other students I witness around campus doing the same thing. If anxiety is experienced during the process of completing course work, it can take away from the focus it requires to accomplish the work successfully.

Music therapy is the solution to any stress or anxiety I face. Music is a form of expression, and therefore, the listeners often reciprocate the same feelings. There are people who pay for therapy sessions but music therapy can be free, unless you desire a personal instructor. If you haven't tried music therapy, you're missing out! Music can speak to you and it can speak for you, it is all up to you.

Next time you put on music, don't just hear it; listen and let it speak to you. Music can definitely change your mood. Music is the universal language of the soul.