A Novel Music Therapy Intervention Utilizing Pop Music to Reduce Adolescent Anxiety and Depression


  • Zhixing Huang Student
  • Natasha Duell




Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Music, Pop Music, Music Therapy


The prevalence of adolescents' mental disorders, especially anxiety and depression, has become a critical social issue that needs to be addressed. Conventional music therapy could be a useful tool to help teens manage their symptoms. However, few kinds of research have explored the potential function of listening to pop music to improve adolescents’ mental state. This paper explored a pivotal approach to whether scientifically proven pop music can help prevent anxiety and depression. The paper developed a criterion that is used for selecting pop music with mentally beneficial elements and created a playlist with songs selected under the criterion. Two survey-based studies, containing a professional diagnosis scale and various questions, qualitatively and quantitatively examined the playlist’s emotional impact. In Study 1, results indicated that the playlist could relieve anxiety symptoms, with less influence in depression. In Study 2, regular control measures and qualitative questions proved that the selected music exerted its intended positive emotional effects onto the listener and indicated that listening to the music on a daily basis may be useful in improving and maintaining one’s healthy mental state. The results were promising and suggested great potential in future research. The scientific use of pop music as a self-help method beneficial in tackling anxiety and depression among teenagers could be a prospective field of study.


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How to Cite

Huang, Z., & Duell, N. (2020). A Novel Music Therapy Intervention Utilizing Pop Music to Reduce Adolescent Anxiety and Depression. Journal of Student Research, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsrhs.v9i2.1227



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