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UNIMELB_MCKENZIE-Sabrina_VYT-LOCAL-2024.mp4 (104.5 MB)


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posted on 2024-06-16, 09:07 authored by Sabrina McKenzieSabrina McKenzie

Music is more than just a source of entertainment; it can be a tool for self-compassion (McKenzie et al., 2024). This presentation is my entry for the Visualise Your Thesis (VYT) 2024. My PhD explores the role everyday music listening can play in easing and acknowledging suffering within ourselves, otherwise known as self-compassion (Gilbert, 2013). Surveying over 290 young people, we found that 82% experienced self-compassion through listening to music. Interestingly, music can evoke both self-compassionate and uncompassionate experiences, highlighting its complex emotional influence (McKenzie et al., 2024). This exploration aims to enrich the current literature on music and emotions.

"Listening to music can evoke almost any emotion we feel. But have you ever stopped to consider how it might influence the way you treat yourself? My PhD explores how music can help us ease and acknowledge our own suffering, a concept known as self-compassion.

Over the years studies in self-compassion have been growing with researchers exploring journaling, physical activity, and meditation to build self-compassion. But what about music?

Music is a huge part of our lives, and we can spend up to 20 hours a week listening. My research, involving over 290 young people, found that 82% experienced self-compassion when listening to music. With many using it as a tool to acknowledge they weren’t alone in their struggles.

These findings can help us develop new mental health strategies using music.

Music - its so much more than just entertainment. It can be a powerful tool for emotional growth, and self-compassion."

References within the presentation:
Gilbert, P. (2013). The compassionate mind: A new approach to life's challenges. Robinson.

IFPI (2023). Engaging with music. Retrieved from IFPI (2023). Engaging with music. Retrieved from

Juslin, P. N., & Laukka, P. (2004). Expression, perception, and induction of musical emotions: A review and a questionnaire study of everyday listening. Journal of New Music Research, 33(3), 217-238.

McKenzie, S. M, Glasser, S., Krause, A. E., & Osborne M (2024). Exploring the Role of Music Listening in Cultivating Self-Compassion. [Manuscript submitted for publication].

Neff, K. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2(2), 85-101.

Reilly, E. B., & Stuyvenberg, C. L. (2022). A meta-analysis of loving-kindness meditations on self-compassion. Mindfulness, 14(10), 2299-2310.

Williamson, J., & Blackhart, G. C. (2021). Efficacy of guided versus self-induced learning of web-based self-compassionate journaling by college students. The American Journal of Psychology, 134(1), 45-59.

Wong, M. Y., Chung, P., & Leung, K. (2020). The relationship between physical activity and self-compassion: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Mindfulness, 12(3), 547-563.


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