How to Meditate with Music in 5 Steps

Learn how to use music as meditation to improve your mental health. Add more music to your life with this guide.

Hedy Phillips CNET Contributor
Hedy Phillips is a freelance lifestyle writer based in New York. While she's not writing on topics like living on a budget and tips for city dwelling, she can usually be found at a concert or sightseeing in a new city. Over the past 10 years, her bylines have appeared in a number of publications, including POPSUGAR, Hunker, and more.
Hedy Phillips
3 min read
Woman lying down in the sun, listening to music
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Stress is something that virtually everyone deals with, and it can be hard to figure out how to get through it. Mediation is proven tool for managing stress. While traditional meditation may not appeal to everyone, adding music might change some minds. Music meditation is an effective way to relax your mind and lower stress levels. You just have to know how to get started. Learn more about music meditation here and how you can start your own practice at home.

What is music meditation? 

Music meditation is the act of using music as a form of meditation to calm your mind. While traditional meditation is more along the lines of relaxing your mind and thoughts through breathing and silence, music meditation brings in calming music to help the process. 

Music meditation could possibly be beneficial for anyone, but it could be particularly good for the following people:

  • Those who are beginners to meditation, as music has universal appeal
  • Those looking for an alternative to traditional meditation
  • Those looking for a simpler form of meditation that might bring relaxation more easily.
  • Those who typically find joy and relaxation in music

5 steps of music meditation 

Using music for meditation is quite a simple process, but it might take some fine-tuning. Here's how to use music to meditate:

  1. Find your music: This may actually be the trickiest part of the process because you have to find music that's right for you. Typically music for meditation is calming and has no lyrics. This could be classical, it could be jazz, or it could be instrumental versions of popular songs. It may take trial and error to find the right music.
  2. Find a comfy position: Once you have your music, find a comfortable position for meditation. This could be surrounded by pillows on the floor, in your bed or on a blanket in your backyard. You want to be in a comfortable enough position that you won't think about your surroundings while you're meditating. 
  3. Turn on the music and relax: Switch your music to a volume that's loud enough to hear properly but not too loud that it's overwhelming. You also don't want it to be too quiet because you may strain to hear it. Listen to the music and let your thoughts fade away. 
  4. Focus on the music: While meditating, you should be thinking of nothing but the music. If your thoughts stray, focus back to the music and stay there. If you're finding it hard to focus on the music, you may need to find different music.
  5. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes at a time: You don't need to meditate long. Doing it for 10 to 20 minutes at a time should be sufficient enough to help. Studies have shown that breathing and relaxation involved in meditation can improve mental health and lower stress levels.

Where to find your music

Woman lying down, listening to music
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It may take some experimentation to find your music for meditating, but fortunately, there are plenty of music-related resources available for you to use. 

  • Calm: The Calm app has plenty of resources for meditation, including tips for using music for mental health. You can also find more guidance on music meditation there. The app costs $15 per month to use.
  • Spotify: Spotify has playlists designed for meditation, as well as most music you could want. You can create a playlist for your own meditations that is full of the songs perfect for you. Spotify with ads is free to use.
  • Apple Music: You can also make playlists and find all the music you're looking for on Apple Music if you're an Apple devotee. Apple Music comes with a monthly fee of $11 per month.
  • YouTube: Find playlists, music videos and music on YouTube that you can put together for your meditation. It's free to use.

Bottom line

Using music for meditation can be a wonderful way to expand your mental health practices, especially if you're a music fan. Once you've found the right calming music, you can use it to recenter your mind and target elevated stress levels. By doing it for even just 10 minutes a day, you can potentially improve your life. For larger concerns surrounding your mental health, be sure to seek a medical professional for guidance.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.