What Are The Effects Of Music On Black Mental Health?

In our last room on Sunday, we touched upon various ways music impacts mental health and behavior in Black people, especially Black children.  

Music is diverse, based on culture. Birds chirping in the spring is melodic and soothing to many people. Anyone can create music or write lyrics to match their mood or need at the moment.  

Music has a myriad of beneficial effects. Studies show music can be a mood booster. When you’re feeling down, try listening to your favorite song—or hum it, or create your own. Sometimes the sound of stillness is soothing. 

Music can lift and make you feel confident, powerful, and strong. Music therapy is used to reduce pain, blood pressure, stress and improve mood and self-expression.

Music is primal and vibrates at different frequencies. The vibration frequency, tempo, and messaging can bring out the flip side of music. Many of us listen to up-tempo music having a particular frequency to motivate us or boost our moods. In the same vein, music may influence aggressive behaviors and depressive states. Messaging also adds another layer to a pervasive problem.

Combine aggressive music and messaging with alcohol or drugs, and the result is often impaired judgment with distorted reality. Music is no longer entertainment but reality.

Much of the lyrics, especially in rap and hip-hop music, lean to celebrating an extraordinarily destructive and toxic part of our culture. One person in the room said the music industry promotes music to celebrate the destruction of Black people. The violence, heavy drug use, and other experienced degradations are glorified in the words of songs and reinforced, leading to more violence and crime in our neighborhoods.

The music created by us but not owned by us has begun to impact our children negatively. Although lyrics may accurately reflect the conditions experienced, they only work to make our children angrier, more aggressive and embolden them to normalize their plight. The music is weaponized against our children and the community at large.

The Astroworld mass casualty with eight people dead, the youngest 14, was a real-life example of the negative side of music. Sunday, November 14 at 4 pm EST The Understood Clubhouse will discuss music’s effect on Black Children. We welcome everyone.



Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

3 thoughts on “What Are The Effects Of Music On Black Mental Health?

  1. Dear Angela, here is a piece of music I´m using at times as a therapy for my soul if I am too bewildered by the tragedies of this world:

    Cordial regards

  2. Hi Andreas, I can see why. It’s uptempo, and much of it is without lyrics. That kind of music has a soothing effect. Before we did the room on the impact of music on Black mental health, I understood very little about music. Now I can appreciate the tempo and lyrics. While I can’t understand the lyrics in the music you shared, it made me feel upbeat. Thank you for sharing.

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