Can Music Help Relieve My Kid’s Headache?

Music can bring you and your loved ones a variety of benefits. As we have extensively written about, music therapists are experts at using music in all its facets to help achieve “non-musical” goals. Basically, there is a whole discipline that looks at and thinks about how music can make people’s lives better. 

Because we know that music can help with problems that might be physical, such as pain. Or these problems could be emotional, like depression, psychological, such as a mental illness, and beyond.

While a music therapist is the expert you want to talk to for better personalized input into how music can help you, sometimes all you want is to know how you can use music to help you or your loved ones. In this blog post, we will tell you a bit more about how music could help your kid’s headache! 

We can imagine the scenario… You have a kid. They are your everything and you worry every time even when the slightest thing is wrong. And recently, perhaps even today, your kid has had headaches. Perhaps you already visited the doctor and found out a possible reason for the headaches. Yet, the solutions so far are just not cutting it.

“What to try now?” is your question.


Music and headaches

Did you identify with what’s written above? Perhaps that’s how you landed here! You thought about how music has helped you and you thought, maybe music could help your kid. Well, luckily for you, we have compiled the research, and put together the thoughts from a professional music therapist about how music could help your kid’s headache. 

First of all, do know that music is no magic pill. Even though there are things that could help, we do not guarantee that music will make your kid’s headache go away. That being said, let’s look first at a quick way you could use music with your child.


What is the best way to use music for my child with headaches?

Oftentimes, the best music for many things is our preferred music. This is similar for migraines and headaches. While others have suggested using classical and New Age music, sometimes this can be counterproductive. Indeed, preferred music can provide just the right amount of distraction and enjoyment to decrease the pain. 


Next time your kid has a migraine, try the following:


  1. If they are busy with something else, ask them to take a break. 
  2. Ask them what their favorite artist or song is. If they don’t know, try mentioning a few different ones that you might know they like.
  3. Once you identify a single song, play it using the best quality speakers you may have. Do not play it too loud but at a comfortable volume. 
  4. Ask your kid to sing along if they know the song. 
  5. You can also ask your kid to close their eyes, lie down if possible, and focus simply on the music.
  6. Additionally, you can play the song several times, first asking them to focus on the voice, then on the guitar, then on the drums, and so on. 
  7. Continue doing this with several songs and maybe take notes on which ones seem to help your child more.
  8. Once you start identifying the songs that help, you can start a playlist to play every time your kid has a headache!


Research on music, music therapy and migraines in children

According to recent studies, music therapy techniques can have a positive effect on children’s migraines. The mechanisms in which this may happen could be explained by the idea of entrainment and using different models of how pain is processed by our brians. A blog post on this will follow soon! 


Additionally, note that the National Headache Institute points to a study of 58 children with migraine headaches which showed distinct improvement using music therapy. According to them, “ there’s some evidence that music you really like may be effective even if it’s counter-intuitive, such as heavy metal. Some patients find a heavy bass is particularly effective, and it’s possible that vibrations may play a role in that. Individuals may need to use some trial and error to find the migraine music that provides them the most relief.”


Unfortunately, there are still many questions about music and the treatment of headache disorders, as this study found that “neither treatment was superior to the other at any point of measurement.” 

Did music help your kid’s headache?

We hope that this blog post was useful! Let us know in the comments if this helped your child’s headache. And feel free to explore our website for more information on music and art therapy and how it can touch people in many different ways.

L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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