Headphone Therapy

Updated on April 9, 2019
teaches12345 profile image

Dianna is a writer with a background in education and business. She writes to inspire and encourage others through her articles.

Listening to positive music allows for self-reflection, improving our mood.
Listening to positive music allows for self-reflection, improving our mood. | Source

How much do you value solitude? I put a high price on solitude. It rejuvenates my mind and soul. Coming from a large household, private space was scarce in the home and life-related sounds from family activities threatened my peace. When I needed to think, I went outside. Nature provided the calm I needed to sort through my thoughts, especially after enduring personal conflicts at school.

Some people mistake loneliness for solitude which are two different states of mind. Loneliness is negative, representing a lack of connection with others. Solitude is a positive mindset that allows one time for self, a time for inner reflection of their soul and a method of listening to our deeper being. In short, It helps us form who we are. Is there any question to as to why Jesus did this often; to pray, sing (musical sound) or even dance?

As I mingle with the masses today, I observe people walking around with headphones or ear buds, cocooned within their invisible fences. Most look unperturbed, tranquil—as if they have found the secret to privatizing public space. At times, I can hear their upbeat music or feel sound pulsating the place around me. I am inspired. If headphones had existed when I was a child, I would have worn them quite often!

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

— Luke 5:16

A Matter of Choice

What types of situations lead you to use headphones or ear buds?

See results

"I Am Here. I Am Separate."

Nathaniel Baldwin, the inventor of headphones for the U.S. Navy, believed headphones were an avenue to escape reality yet remain intact within the present time frame. His quote "I am here. I am separate" summed up his feelings well.

When I need space I listen to Chopin. His music soothes my spirit as I listen, shedding the day's irritants like peeling the bitter rind off an orange to eat the sweetness beneath. I go about my housework waltzing through the rooms while my husband peers at me from behind his wire-rimmed glasses. Although he finds it amusing, he realizes I need this therapy to regain harmony, to survive. You may know this to be true for yourself as well.

Headphones are a form of environmental control and music played through the wires temporarily shields us from the harshness of the here and now. As we meld with the melody, withdrawing from all conversations and noise, we are free from the onslaught of the forces of society that long to shape us into mindless androids.

Next time you find yourself among the general public, take a look around. How many earbuds do you see? Those who wear them are in their private place, separate from others yet very much among us. Hopefully, they are inspired and positively motivated by what they hear through those tubes.

The Heart of It All

Music lovers understand the importance of listening to tunes that inspire and motivate.
Music lovers understand the importance of listening to tunes that inspire and motivate. | Source

Choice is the key factor. By choosing the music, you reclaim some of the world - it's no longer dominated by messages pointed at you.

— Dr. Micheal Bull, reflecting upon the use of electronic devices.

Gamer Focus!

Gamer concentration is intense. Keep the volume down and take breaks often.
Gamer concentration is intense. Keep the volume down and take breaks often. | Source

Usage and Safety

According to Sharon Sandridge, PhD, Director of Clinical Services in Audiology at Cleveland Clinic, young people (teens are the highest users) as a general rule of thumb, should tune in with "eighty percent volume for a maximum of 90 minutes . . . . It really is an inverse relationship between how long and how loud. If you are listening for an amount of time longer than 90 minutes, volume should be reduced so that the longer you listen, the lower the volume.”

Some experts recommend listening at 60% volume for an hour and then taking a break for a long while. They also believe over-the-ear headphones give better sound quality leading to users listening with lower volume.

As a rule, use these devices where physical safety is not a concern, especially when walking or in traffic. Serious vehicle injuries, even death, have resulted from people listening to their device while wearing headphones. This is due to sensory deprivation where a person's ability to hear sound, such as a car horn, is blocked by the sound coming from their device. Keep an "ear" and eye open for obstacles and outside noise indicating a concern. Most important: Keep your volume down!

Hearing loss can result from using headphones at a high volume over time. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states Americans (15%) between the ages of twenty and sixty-nine demonstrate hearing loss possibly caused by exposure to loud noise at or above 85 decibels during leisure or work activities.

Lastly, referring to gaming activities where headphones are a must, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that can result in pulmonary embolism. In simpler terms, sitting for long periods of time causes blood clot formation in the legs. If these clots break loose, they travel through the bloodstream and may eventually block an artery.

Dr Michael Go, Assistant Professor, Vascular Surgery at Ohio State University, expects to see the number of DVT cases increase with the growing popularity of gaming activities. On average, the risk will be higher in gamers spending over 48 hours per week playing video games.


The term escapism is often viewed as a negative fallback of the mind, an avoidance of reality. However, it is a also a method providing reprieve for those needing to recharge. When you watch a movie, play games, listen to music (wear those headphones to boost your experience) or daydream you are participating in escapism. It allows you to take a moment for yourself, to clear your tangled thoughts and unwind.

Escapism is dangerous for those who use it as a way to avoid facing life's situations. If it causes you to lose connections with others, you may need to delve into why you desire to withdraw into your shield of silence.

Remember to set goals for participating in real-life experiences with others. Keep active socially. Your "me" time is necessary but getting out into the real world is essential. It keeps you human!

Combating Emotional Drama

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dianna Mendez


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      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        2 days ago

        Linda, you have the right idea on wearing earbuds for pleasure, yet keeping safe. Enjoy your walks.

      • lindacee profile image

        Linda Chechar 

        3 days ago from Arizona

        I wear earbuds and listen to classical or jazz while walking around the neighborhood. Along the road I keep the volume low so I can hear vehicles passing by.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        3 days ago

        Rajan, it does take some practice getting them on and being comfortable wearing them on your head. Glad you stopped by today. Enjoy your week.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        3 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        I do not headphones, frankly, I cannot adjust to something clamping on my ears but I guess it does provide a personal space where one can relieve stress.

        Thanks for the safety tips.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 days ago

        John, sounds like you have the right mindset on using headphone (pun intended!). Thanks for your kind comment and support. Have a blessed week.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        5 days ago from Queensland Australia

        A very interesting read Dianna. I wear earbuds mainly when I am on the computer or iPad, usually to listen to some music as I am writing or while watching football etc that my wife isn't interested in. Besides the computer's sound is lousy without them. Great advice here and I love your last paragraph:

        "Remember to set goals for participating in real-life experiences with others. Keep active socially. Your "me" time is necessary but getting out into the real world is essential. It keeps you human!

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 days ago

        Louise, sounds like you have a great set of headphones. I enjoy mine at night for listening to music and different media broadcasts. Enjoy your weekend.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 days ago

        Chitrangada, young people seem to be in their own world when using these devices. Guess it's all right as long as they are connected to the real world the majority of time.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 days ago

        Rochelle, I would agree with your mom. Headphones are wonderful but in moderation. The song is a sweet one.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        6 days ago from Norfolk, England

        I do have a pair of the large headphones which I use for when I'm on my PC. I use them mainly for listening to music. I only wear them in the evenings for a couple of hours at a time. I live on my own so don't mind the solitude. But I also chat to people online, so the headphones are handy for that as they have a little microphone attached, which is why I bought these. =)

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        6 days ago from New Delhi, India

        Wonderful article about using headphones as a therapy. I can see many people using it, including my children. They love it, and use it almost regularly.

        You made some important points about being lonely or being in solitude.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a wonderful day!

      • rdsparrowriter profile image

        Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

        7 days ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

        Interesting point of views Lady Dianna :) I don't know whether my mom would agree to this. she often gets annoyed with my brother when he won't respond when she call him as he's always wearing earphones. enjoyed the song as well :)

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        7 days ago

        Shauna, I agree - had to post those important cautions for those who would overuse these helpful devices. Enjoy your solitude!

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        7 days ago

        Genna, there are appropriate times for headphones and listening to classical music is always my preference too for those moments. The outdoors needs our full attention, walk and enjoy!

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        8 days ago from Central Florida

        Interesting article, Dianna. I don't use headphones but you've given me an entirely new (and sensible) perspective on those who do. Creating a zen zone with headphones when in a crowd is a wonderful use of technology. However, I wonder about prolonged use and the effect on the body.

        I agree with you regarding loneliness versus solitude. I enjoy my times of solitude, but in no way am I lonely.

        Wonderful article, Dianna!

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        8 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

        What a great article -- and so true. I find that at work, I put them on to listen to classical music such as Bach; it closes off the din, so to speak, and helps me to focus. But for other activities, if I can, I go outdoors and tune in to nature; there is no greater headphone in the world.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        9 days ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hey, older persons or senior citizens have little use of the headphone.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        9 days ago

        Peggy, the younger population are the highest users. They can be very useful as tools for rejuvenation but harmful if used to ignore life, especially those who are wanting to connect with you.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        9 days ago

        Dora and Ruby, solitude is vital to our keeping sane, it helps us contemplate at our own rate. Whether is listening to soothing music through headphones or sitting out back on the porch sipping tea. Find your sweet spot, gain you momentum.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        9 days ago

        Bill, I walk without headphones because I enjoy hearing the birds sing and hearing "life" around me. I limit my buds to workouts and occasional inspiration around the home. Great advice!

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        9 days ago

        Eric, they are excellent tools for keeping privacy, both for you and others. I agree that limiting their use is important. You are going to miss out on life happenings if you keep them on all the time.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        9 days ago from Houston, Texas

        Like Bill Holland, I am in the minority as to owning and using headphones. Last year we purchased some earbuds that we could plug into some of the machines in the gym so that we could watch and hear the news as we were using the treadmills and stationary bikes. When walking I like to listen to the sounds of birds, croaking toads, rustling leaves, etc., so have never been tempted to buy headphones. They sure are popular!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        9 days ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks for recommending a balance. We need privacy but we also need to maintain connection. I learned to consider the therapy aspect.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        9 days ago from Southern Illinois

        I have never had headphones, but I do need time away from people to gather my thought's, etc. I wonder if I would like them? maybe? I enjoyed reading your article. Thank you.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 days ago from Olympia, WA

        Here's an oddity: I've never owned a pair of headphones. Does that make me strange? It sure makes me a member of the minority, judging from what I see in public. Interesting article, Dee....I'm not sure how I feel about them....I would like to see more people interacting and absorbing life with all senses, I guess.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        9 days ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        It is my intention to follow comments. I can understand a thing or two more. Thank you all. Best wishes.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        9 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Dianna this is an excellent write up. I have a really good set to go with my lap top. I used to wear buds when walking/hiking. I loved it. But then I realized that the sounds I was missing were more important.

        My use is normally so that I do not bug others with my music.

        That is why my boy uses them also. Volume is limited to your ability to hear a slightly raised voice

        Gaming or online is limited to 20 minutes at a time. On weekends that could add up to about an hour and a half but then earphones are limited and only used partially

        These a beautiful and wonderful additions to our lives. But like coffee to much is too bad.

        Now I was rocking out the other day before bed. Oops. Ear ringing for half an hour ;-)

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        10 days ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hello Dianna, your response to Harish is something ought not to be missed. How true indeed. Many thanks, and enjoy the day.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        10 days ago

        Harish, the younger crowd does take advantage of these devices best. At school, they love that they are allowed to listen to their music quietly as they study. For them, it helps them think. For me, I would find it hard to concentrate. Good point.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        10 days ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hello, it is useful indeed. Taking time apart for a break helps. Not only does it recharge a person as the recharge of a phone or laptop as to make a call or connect online. It rejuvenates the human person. Thanks again, and have a nice day today and always.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        10 days ago

        Jackie, if it weren't for my ear buds my workout would lack some motivation. I use a playlist that has both warmup music and upbeat tunes. Happy you now have a way to enjoy your music.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        10 days ago

        Flourish, I think maybe the ear buds have a snug fit in the ear and channel sound better? I am not sure why but I use both styles, ear buds for my workouts. I found the quote to fit my style!

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        10 days ago

        Miebakagh, most of us need solitude to recharge. Glad you found it useful.

      • teaches12345 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dianna Mendez 

        10 days ago

        Pamela, you have my thoughts on solitude using headphones. I put them on and can just soak in the calm. Try soothing sounds such as ocean waves. Works great!

      • Harishprasad profile image

        Harish Mamgain 

        10 days ago from New Delhi , India

        Hi Dianna , what a beautiful write up on headphones. The younger lot are very crazy about it. I like hearing old melodious songs , and I prefer using headphones. You described everything beautifully , both pros and cons. I also liked what you wrote about escapism. People need a break to rejuvenate them.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        10 days ago from The Beautiful South

        I have been thinking of this lately too. I see others while exercising or walking and it would be a great thing to do to add energy I think and happiness. I love music and never have time for it, or so I thought. But I do exercise at the Y and walk which is two perfect excuses to drag out the music!

        Thanks for pushing this decision through for me Dianna.

        Great to see you back!

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        10 days ago from USA

        It's interesting that the old school over-the-ear headphones are thought to give better sound quality. I like the quote about being here but separate.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        10 days ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hello Dianna, my pleasure in reading your article "Headphone Therapy." So much to learn from it like solitude. Thanks for sharing anyway.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        10 days ago from Sunny Florida

        You make several good points in this article. I like solitude, and I don't get much of it these days. I use to have a lot of alone time, but that is not the case now.

        I enjoyed this article immensely as this is a current stuggle for me. I like the ear buds for listening to music, and I need to do that more often. Thank you for making me think about my situation.


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