Music activities and mental health recovery: Service users’ perspectives presented in the chime framework

Janne Brammer Damsgaard, Anita Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Internationally, mental health service developments are increasingly informed by the principles of recovery, and the availability of arts and creative activities are becoming more common as part of provision. Mental health service users’ experiences, reflecting on the complex nature of using music participation in recovery are, however, limited. This essay considers literature that explores how music can support mental health service users in a recovery process. We have selected studies that include a broad spectrum of music activities, as well as literature considering various concepts about recovery. The conceptual recovery framework CHIME, that includes five important components in the recovery process, is used as the backdrop for exploring music activities as a contribution to recovery-oriented practice and services in mental health care. Eleven key components are identified in which music can support the recovery process: Feelings of equality; Social and emotional wellbeing; Tolerance; Hope and social agency; Triggering encounters; Redefining and re-framing; A social practice; Moments of flow and peak experiences; Moments of meaning; Continuity; and Potentials instead of limitations. This essay concludes that the experiential knowledge of music activities from service users’ perspectives is essential knowledge when developing and using music activities in mental health recovery services. While this essay acknowledges that music activities can also produce unintended negative outcomes, the focus is on the positive contributions of music to mental health recovery processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6638
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work


  • Mental health recovery
  • Music activities
  • Service users’ perspectives


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