Recovery from addiction is not something you can take in a pill, or complete in a certain amount of credit hours like a college degree. Addiction recovery is a journey—something that takes time and patience. Like every great journey, recovery begins with a first step. Along the way, we encounter many paths to carry us further. As any good adventure novel will teach you, the path we take must be our own, and only then will we achieve our ultimate goals.
For some, recovery comes in the form of counseling, physical fitness, meditation or group therapy. While these are all great paths to supplement your addiction recovery, they might not be the best for you. For some, creativity is the answer. Through different art and music therapies, recovering addicts have managed to get to the root of their addiction and develop a better understanding of themselves in the process. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of art and music therapy and how they can help you along the path to recovery.
Recovery Through Art Therapy
Art therapy provides those recovering from addiction a medium to process their emotions and try to better understand who they are. The biggest benefit to art therapy is how easily accessible it is to people from all walks of life. All you need, for starters, is a pencil and paper. Even through small doodles on the page, you can create something that reflects what’s going on internally.
In addition to accessibility, art therapies can be therapeutic. You have probably heard about the recent uptick in coloring books marketed to adults. Coloring relaxes and gives us clarity. By focusing our minds on a single activity, we achieve a certain level of Zen. Similarly, those recovering from addiction can experience serenity as they draw, color, sculpt and shape.
Recovery Through Music Therapy
Much like art therapy, music therapy remains readily accessible to the masses. You’ve probably heard a song on the radio that completely changed your day. If something as simple as a song can have such an immediate impact on your mood, then imagine what music can achieve for you as a therapy. Music touches a primal part of our bodies and minds.
Music makes us move, makes us feel. All sound is created through vibrations and through these vibrations we can find harmony in our lives as we pick apart harmonies in a musical arrangement. Music therapy is known to reduce pain, improve mood, make people more social and can inspire people.
How to Incorporate Art and Music Therapy in Your Addiction Recovery
With all the ways that creative addiction therapies can help supplement your recovery, you’re probably asking: Where do I begin? Well, the answer depends on your starting point, and your overall ambitions. If you are simply to use art as a medium to express yourself, then perhaps investing in a drawing notebook will give you an outlet to turn thoughts into art. If you want to craft playlists that help calm, motivate or inspire, then you can search for premade playlists online and start listening to them whenever the need arises.
If you’d like to learn an instrument as another way to promote creativity, you might want to consider some options including clarinet, saxophone, piano or guitar as good places to start. Whatever you decide to play, you’ll find plenty of instructional videos online to get you started.
No matter what path you choose on your road to recovery, remember that the willingness to take the first step is most important. By using supplementary creative therapies such as art and music, you will be better equipped to face whatever comes your way and always keep moving forward.
This blog was guest-written by Adam Cook from AddictionHub.org. Adam started AddictionHub.org after losing a friend to substance abuse and suicide. He is interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. AddictionHub.org locates and catalogs such resources.