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How music and singing can reduce anxiety for women and teen girls

Today’s guest is Maya Benattar, licensed creative art therapist and board certified music therapist in New York City. Maya talks about her work with women and how singing, music and mindfulness can calm worries and fears. We know music is important to most teenagers and can be a great way for parents to connect with them. Music can help us transcend from the stuckness to a place of feeling seen and connected. 

In this episode you will learn:

  • Maya works primarily with women who struggle with anxiety

    “Triumph over anxiety to understand it and move through it.”

  • Getting women out of their heads and “noticing” where their anxiety is and interrupting that cycle
  • Disconnect between mind and body and relearning that connection through sound, sitting in uncomfortable for little bit and through creative ways

Techniques Used:

    • Vocal psychotherapy-using voice, singing exercises
    • Do not need to be a singer or have vocal training
    • Use mindfulness around music that is meaningful to them
      • Where do you feel it
      • Connect to memories or associations
    • Don’t necessarily need relaxing or soothing music to reduce anxiety
    • “Leaning into the music that works for you.”
    • Shares personal story of how music helped calm her
    • Changing societal views regarding what types of music can sooth and relax

In Between Sessions

  • If tapped into joyful/playful place-how can you access this before next session
  • Brainstorm how person can continue this
  • Uses index cards to record goals, words or phrases that was meaningful during session
  • Helps with maintaining calm connected place between mind and body


  • Women more interested in creative approach
  • Fear around being musical or old wounds regarding failed piano lessons or can’t sing
  • More about how it feels vs sounds
  • Safe environment and with person who is grounded and calm
  • Usually music already resonates with client


  • Parents pause and listen to a sound track with your teenager can give you insight into them
  • Listening to music can increase relationship connection
  • Be present with your teen (not on phone or other devices)-helps validate who they are
  • Gain greater range of self-expression
  • Sit with and be with uncomfortable feeling-shares Brene Brown’s work of working with both joy and uncomfortable
  • Give yourself permission to feel what you feel where you are and move through it vs avoid it.

    Nicole said, “Giving ourselves some grace to feel all the different emotions and move through it.”

  • Use of metaphors-being curious about anxiety
  • Exploring your story so the old story doesn’t have power over us.

If you liked this episode I invite you to subscribe on iTunes to receive the weekly updates. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio.

Maya’s Information:

Website: www.mayabenattar.com

Free guided relaxation audio track: www.mayabenattar.com/guided-relaxation

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mayabenattarlcat

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mayabenattar

Book Recommendations: (Maybe affiliate link)

Brene Brown-Gift of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong

InSight Timer App-has meditations

Create a playlist of music for sleeping, work, when anxious or sad