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How Listening to the Radio Can be a Form of Therapy

Our world’s political, economic, and social climate today is pretty tense, and it isn’t unusual to hear a person say that they need to go for therapy. Recent times have seen a rise in the number of people going for and willing to go for therapy, thanks to society’s new-found acceptance of it. Nevertheless, it’s odd to hear anyone speak of the radio as a form of therapy.

Why is this so? Many of us can attest to the importance of the radio in advertising, news casting, and communication. However, just a select few remember that in the past, the radio was a significant source of entertainment — from radio shows to music playlists. These kinds of content dominated the radio sphere in the ’60s, ’70s, and even the ’80s, and recently, it’s picking up momentum.

In this article, we’ll examine the radio as a form of therapy, its importance on mental health, and the various options of radio therapy available. Enjoy!

African man with vintage radio device.

Brief History of Radio Therapy

Radio broadcast therapy, as it is often called, has been in practice since the early 20th century. Its popularity rose in the 2nd World War, where it was used as a mode of comfort and entertainment for frontline soldiers. A study in the United States showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, listening to the radio reduced people’s anxiety and elicited a feeling of connectedness.

Radio therapy is a widely appreciated form of mental health support, with numerous talk shows and podcasts focused solely on providing therapeutic content. A few examples include ASMR YouTube and TikTok channels — platforms committed to producing videos and audio that help insomniacs fall asleep.

Music: A Primary Form of Radio Therapy

Music is an amazingly provocative tool used across the ages to foster relaxation, reduce stress, evoke emotions, and in some way, heal physical and emotional distress. From classical music to hip-hop, there is a musical genre for every feeling and person. Little wonder music therapy is studied as a discipline in universities worldwide.

Studies have illustrated numerous mental health benefits associated with listening to music. One study published by the Journal of Positive Psychology discovered that listening to music significantly improved the mood of humans (and even animals) and, in most cases, led to happiness.

Another study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing proved that listening to music reduced anxiety and mental stress in patients undergoing or scheduled for surgery. 

But it’s not just about listening to music — playing music is also a form of therapy. The process of learning to play an instrument or building a tune can mitigate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also elevates cognitive function and motor skills.

Whether you are blasting Imagine Dragons or slowly miming Drake, music therapy is an effective and enjoyable way to enhance your mental health. So, turn up that dial and groove harder.

Radio, Talk, and Discussion Shows as Forms of Therapy

Radio, talk, and discussion shows are a therapeutic oasis in a world that sometimes feels like a dumpster fire. Not only are they funny and informative, but they also offer an avenue for people to discuss their problems and meet others who share their experiences. 

Research proves that listening to the radio positively affects people’s mental health. A study published in the International Journal of Stress Management discovered that radio listeners had significantly lower anxiety and depression levels. So, if you’re feeling down, put the radio on, grab a cup of coffee, and receive free therapy.

Image of young happy caucasian people performing at radio program while making podcast recording for online show

The Importance of Radio Therapy

Who knew that merely listening to the radio was a form of recognized therapy — and free too! Well, today, we have seen that it is not only a form of therapy but an effective one. 

Here are a few facts that illustrate how important listening to the radio as a form of therapy can be:

1. It Is a Mood Stabilizer

Listening to the radio, especially to music, has proven to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Music therapists opine that dopamine, a neurotransmitter known as the “feel-good” chemical, is released in the brain of humans when they listen to good music. Thus, it leaves listeners feeling happy and lightens their mood.

2. Radio Elicits a Sense of Community

Humans are social animals who thrive in communities, groups, and safe spaces. Radio therapy, especially talk and discussion shows, provides listeners (particularly those who may feel isolated) with a sense of connectedness. 

Studies in humans and lower animals have shown that a sense of belonging is crucial to the survival of any group unit, child or adult.

3. It Is a Platform for Discourse and Engagement

We love a good discussion roundtable with friends to banter and share experiences over drinks and sizzling barbecue. With podcasting, conversations with people miles away have become possible, offering partakers and listeners a platform for reflection and engagement. 

An excellent example of therapeutic talk and discussion shows is the BBC’s Radio 4 podcast tagged “All in the Mind,” which started in 1998 and included a range of topics regarding mental well-being and overall health, prompting listeners to share their stories and experiences.


The aforementioned facts show how the radio can be used as a form of therapy in various forms. Whether through music or discussion, the benefits of the process are gratifying. 

Tune in to your favorite radio station to get your dose of radio therapy. You can also be a radio jockey and start a music or discussion show that’ll positively impact people from far and near.


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