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Diffusing Anger and Rage Through Music

PyromaniacMost people cringe in fear when they hear the word ‘rage.’  We envision people screaming, cursing, out of control — possibly murders and rapists.  I personally see my father yelling and cursing and looking very scary.  The reality is, if you are human you most likely feel rage at times and it is not rage itself that is a problem, it’s what a person does with the rage that can make it have such negative connotations.

That is why it’s more important than ever to recognize your feelings, all of them, and release them in positive, healthy ways.  If you feel rage but feel too much shame for having it, eventually it comes out in less subtle ways such as projection, passive-aggressive actions, and inner harm.  This morning somebody hit a trigger in me, and I felt a lot of rage that I haven’t felt in quite some time.

It is actually pretty funny, as I look now, because all of my usual defense mechanisms crept in of which ADHD does nothing but help facilitate.   I thought of yelling.  Calling to complain to a friend.  Then I went through trying to feel the feelings, and let them pass through me.  I did a quick regression to figure out where it came from, and got tired of that because, well, it came from what the person did!

My ADHD always tries to outwit my emotions.  I went to trying my ‘all of it happens for a reason’ method of thinking, and trying to envision that because of what happened it was forcing me to meet a path I needed to in life but again I wasn’t buying it.  I tried to envision that I was going to meet someone profound or help someone that was having a bad day, but again that method wasn’t working because I was feeling so much angst!  None of my usual techniques were working, so I got to my big escape and figured it gave me a good excuse to physically escape longer term which then brought relief.

It’s funny, as I didn’t even realize I was using my unhealthy mechanism of escaping as it felt so rational in my mind.  My ADHD helped facilitate the variety of decisions I could come to and the ability to problem solve, unfortunately it also helped to create an impulsive decision.  So I came up with an unhealthy action for anger without even knowing it.

Lenka- SUPER!I came to do some writing at a cafe, and thinking about the decision with relief, when a song came on.  I was still vacillating between rage and relief when a song came on – a song by Lenka, The Show.  I had not known who sang the song until now, but it was such a beautiful song that made me feel so good in short bursts.  So I listened to the song over and over on youtube, while thinking about what it was that made me so rageful, and instead of focusing on my impulsive solution (leaving) I went back to the anger and consciously felt it throughout my body.

Now, nobody would probably know it from looking at me.  But believe me I felt it.  I experienced the situations in my body and little by little, it released energetically out of my body.  It was really profound how much I healed.

It is ironic, as I write a blog for my company and have written about music as medicine, but it’s not an area I’ve studied much.  Now, I am intending to explore.  When you are in the middle of a pretty intense emotional experience, however, the tools go out the window and you focus on the experience.  I’m lucky that I was in a space that plays music I like, or the emotions may have sunk in and created unnecessary actions based on a feeling rather than an objective view of the situation.

Am I the only one that feels anger or rage?  How do you release and experience?  Have you tried music?  Please share!

Note:  I’m planning to get back to my focus on meditation, my brain simply felt the need to write about this today so I hope it resonates with some.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Last Hero

Creative Commons License photo credit: Nikolai O. (Has Returned)

Diffusing Anger and Rage Through Music

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Diffusing Anger and Rage Through Music. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Jul 2010
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