Connecting through music: A systematic review of the use of music to reduce loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic


Music and Medicine




Social interactions were limited during COVID-19 and restrictions resulted in a high prevalence of loneliness and social isolation. The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate the impact of engaging in music on the experience of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. We included 9 articles with a total of 16,176 participants, all of which reported on the impact of musical engagement in the form of music listening or music-related activities on loneliness. The average age of participants was 43 ± 15 years, and 37% were male. Eight studies (88.9%) reported that music engagement reduced loneliness. This systematic review demonstrates that music may have had a beneficial impact on loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings suggest that the use of music is an accessible method to cope with feelings of loneliness which can improve overall wellbeing during times of social isolation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Social Isolation; Wellness and Well-Being; Music Medicine

Indexed Terms

Well Being; COVID-19; emotional state; emotional wellbeing; loneliness; Loneliness; Pandemics; Social Isolation

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

Document Type