The Role of Music in a Salutogenic Approach to Health


International Journal of Mental Health Promotion




This article introduces the reader to the role of music in a salutogenic approach to health, focusing on lay musical practice in public health policy and mental health promotion. Several participants reported how they used music as an alternative to medication or medical treatment, often transcending pain and suffering through personal, musical practices. The participants described how musicking can enhance coping mechanisms, providing a sense of coherence and zest for life, for example how using music may activate individuals in difficult periods in their lives, and retrieve or mobilise a stronger self. Individuals have learned how listening, playing and singing for self or others can be used as a ‘technology’ to achieve a sense of wholeness in body and mind, often described as ‘musicking’. According to mood, context, need or situation, it is the combination of musical practices, properties and activities that tends to produce a personal or social healing effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Coping; Mental Health; Pain; Recreative Music Methods; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

salutogenic approach; health; mental health promotion; public health policy; alternative practices; Health Promotion; Mental Health; Alternative Medicine; Public Health; Health Care Policy

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type