Effect of Music on a Mindfulness Experience: An Online Study

Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, Ann Sebren, Celeste Alderete, Liesel Bradshaw, Ryan Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mindfulness has become increasingly common in therapeutic and non-therapeutic venues as a way to address stress, change, and uncertainty, such as in the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of music in mindfulness is apparent in several traditional and Western practices but has little research regarding its effect in novice practitioners. In an online course-based research experience, a group of student researchers, a graduate research assistant and two faculty members recruited 54 healthy participants within their social networks, to investigate the effect of a music stimulus on one mindfulness exercise and the feasibility of implementing this intervention in virtual sessions. Participants attended two virtual group sessions where student researchers and a faculty member/research assistant provided online questionnaires and links to a 20-minute meditation recording, either with or without music, as the two conditions. Potential moderators of the intervention included stress in the previous month and absorption in music. A repeated-measures ANCOVA indicated no significant differences among conditions, and no interaction with stress or absorption in music. Although contrary to our expectations, the lack of significant differences between conditions indicate that music did not distract from a mindfulness meditation, and that the music and guided mindfulness stimulus was as efficacious as the guided mindfulness alone. Given the potential for music to become a distractor for novice practitioners, this finding is important and in line with our theoretical framework. Online delivery of this intervention was feasible and apparently effective. Suggestions for implementation of online research and intervention delivery are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101827
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Mindfulness
  • Music intervention
  • Music therapy
  • Online
  • Virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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