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Fight off the “winter blues” with playlist released by UK’s leading music therapists

A new playlist to help fight off the “winter blues” – or seasonal affected disorder – has been released by the UK’s music therapists.

Featuring tunes ranging from the well-known – The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” – through to the more reflective and obscure – Olafur Arnald’s “For Now I am Winter” – the 24 songs have been carefully curated by Chroma, the UK’s only national arts therapy company, for their ability to have a positive effect on mood and attitude.

The benefits of music therapy have been recognised for more than 70 years and, in the UK, it is recommended by the NHS as an Allied Health Profession, grouped together with professions such as physiotherapy, radiographers and dieticians.

Daniel Thomas, managing director, explained: “The onset of the winter months tends to make everyone feel a little lacklustre at one extreme while, at the other, seasonal affected disorder can trigger full-on depression.

“Listening to certain kinds of music – as included in our playlist – is proven to help shake off some of these effects. Repeatedly, research has shown that music has the ability to generate a positive biological response whose structural elements, sensory attributes, and expressive qualities engage the human brain comprehensively and in a complex manner.

“Pre-recorded music is powerful in these circumstances because it not only provokes feel-good associations a person may have with a particular song, but there are also inherent, uplifting messages communicated by the singer or composer.”

Daniel explained that the key to getting the most out of the potential of music to disperse the winter blues was something called “active listening.”

“It’s a question of making an effort to become involved with the music – the melody, the rhythm and the message in the lyrics. This is when these songs are at their most effective. Research shows that passive music listening will typically not change or intensify mood.”

Chroma’s winter blues playlist can be found at: