Does Music Therapy Improve Mental Health in Adults? A Review


Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment




The current review provides a summarized synthesis and evaluation of studies addressing the effects of music therapy (MT) alone or MT added to standard care on mental health among adults. Potential studies were identified through electronic bibliographic databases and manual searches. Studies were included for review if (1) the study methodology involved a randomized control trial, (2) the study outcome included a measure of mental health, (3) the study sample included adults ages 18 and older, and (4) the study was published in an English language peer-reviewed journal since 2006. Applying these criteria, the search yielded 593 studies, 9 of which were ultimately retained for review. These studies generally found MT to be more effective than no treatment or than standard care alone. Long-term studies were few, and results suggest no meaningful differences over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Recorded Music Listening; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

mental health; adults; literature review; complementary and alternative therapies; Interdisciplinary Treatment Approach; Multimodal Treatment Approach; Treatment Outcomes

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Systematic Review

Document Type