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Anxiety is all around us right now, and a study at the CDC indicates that anxiety disorders are at an all-time high during the pandemic. This study asked the question “Can listening to a playlist of your preferred music help relieve anxiety symptoms?”. The findings suggest that the answer is yes, if you create one with the help of a music therapist who balances structural and referential characteristics. This is an effectiveness trial examines the effectiveness of a therapeutic playlist intervention (a one-directional mood vectoring playlist) in the management of anxiety symptoms.

This intervention has a strong basis in music therapy research, neurology, and psychotherapeutic treatments that are used in the management of anxiety symptoms. Measures used include the Spielberg State Trait Anxiety Inventory and a Likert-type scale on which participants rated their level of anxiety before and after they listened to the therapeutic playlist. Analysis was conducted using a dependent sample t-test, and a Wilcoxon signed- rank test. Findings showed that there was a significant relationship between listening to the therapeutic playlist and a decrease in anxiety, both immediately and over the full two-week study. This study has a small sample size and results should be interpreted with caution.