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Posted on Jul 5 2022 by Fiona Bailey

The “power of music” in mental health recovery has been explored in the latest episode of the On the Ward podcast.

For Mark it is the second time he has been admitted to St Andrew’s Healthcare in Essex, where he is seeking treatment for his self-harming.

When asked by podcast presenter John-Barry Waldron during the episode why he self-harmed, Mark said: “It’s a release for me. I know it sounds weird.”

He also disclosed what a big part music has played in his life and how it continues to help with his recovery.

Mark, who is building his record collection up, said: “Music is for everyone – it’s like food. Everyone needs food. Your car needs petrol to run and music is food for the soul.”

In the episode Mark and John attend a therapy session involving music and meet with music technician Chris, who describes how he uses an autobiographical approach to working with his patients involving music.

He said: “We look at Mark’s interesting music through his different life stages and we pull out certain pieces of music that have been meaningful to him and have impacted his life.

“We reflect on the impact the music can have on his health and wellbeing and recovery today, utilising his skills as a DJ and his knowledge about music to express himself through that. We try to find some kind of in-depth meaning to his recovery and his day to day routine.”

John added: “I’ve worked at St Andrew’s Healthcare for a long time and I’ve seen first-hand how music can completely transform someone’s demeanour. The power of music should not be underestimated. Research has shown that that music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain and in my experience many of our patients, including Mark, have responded really well to music therapy.”

To listen to the podcast, click here.