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Can listening to music take the edge off the menopause transition

26 January 2022

As researchers continue to seek effective treatment options for menopause symptoms as alternatives to proven pharmacologic solutions, a number of innovative therapies have been shown to improve symptoms. A new study identifies music therapy as an attractive option, not only to manage menopause symptoms, but also depressed mood. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Not every woman’s menopause experience is the same. The symptoms can vary, as can their severity and frequency. Some of the more common symptoms include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, depressed mood, vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction, and joint and muscle pain.

Very little research has been conducted on the effect of music on menopause symptoms. Most studies have focused on other alternative treatments such as hypnosis, cognitive-behavior therapies, meditation, and mindfulness. The idea that music has a healing effect is not new. Rather, it is rooted in ancient cultures that believed music could heal the body and soul. Why is music so therapeutic? Because it stimulates the secretion of certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins and the hormone oxytocin while decreasing the level of circulating stress hormones such as cortisol. These substances play a role in blood pressure, as well as heart and respiratory rates.

Multiple studies show that women may have an increased risk of depression during the menopause transition compared with the premenopausal period. Prior studies have shown that music therapy has helped to improve depressive symptoms in patients with severe psychotic and nonpsychotic mental disorders. Music therapy has also been shown to help prevent postpartum depression. Until now, however, there is no known study that has investigated the effects of music therapy on menopause symptoms and the risk of depression in menopausal women. Based on the results of this small study, the researchers concluded that listening to music can significantly decrease depression scores and help to reduce the symptoms of menopause in postmenopausal women. These results suggest that music could be used as a nonpharmacologic therapeutic option in the care of menopausal women.


Menopausal syndrome generally includes psychological problems. Listening to music has been used to cope with changes during this period. This study was conducted to determine the effect of listening to music on the symptoms of menopause and depression levels.

This randomized-controlled study was carried out between July 2019 and December 2020. The study sample consisted of 48 postmenopausal women (21 in the music group and 27 in the control group). Music was played by the researcher to the postmenopausal women in the intervention group in a total of 18 sessions for six weeks. The data were collected using an introductory information form, Beck depression inventory (BDI), and menopause rating scale (MRS).

The posttest MRS scores of the women in the control group were higher than those in the music group, without a statistically significant difference between the groups (P > 0.05). Comparison of the post-test BDI scores of the participants in the music and control groups revealed a significant decrease in the depression scores among the women in the music group (P = 0.036). Comparison of the pretest and posttest MRS and BDI differences between the participants showed a statistically significant decrease in the MRS total and sub-scale scores among the women in the music group after the intervention.

There was a significant decrease of posttest BDI scores of the women in the music group but not in the control group. Listening to music can help reduce depression levels and symptoms of menopause in postmenopausal women. Music could be used as a nonpharmacological therapeutic option in nursing care.


The effect of music therapy on menopausal symptoms and depression a randomized-controlled study Koçak, Derya Yüksel PhD; Varışoğlu, Yeliz PhD. Menopause: January 24, 2022 - Volume - Issue - doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001941