Connecting through music: A systematic review of the use of music to reduce loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Rowena Cai
  • Gohar Zakaryan
  • Kevin Zhang
  • Rachael Finnerty Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, L8S 4L8



COVID-19, music, loneliness, emotional wellbeing, emotional state


Social interactions were limited due to COVID-19 restrictions resulting in a high prevalence of loneliness and social isolation. The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate the impact of engaging in music on the experience of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. We included nine articles with a total of 16,176 participants, all of which reported upon the impact of musical engagement in the form of music listening or music-related activities on loneliness. The average age of participants was 43 ± 15 years, and 37% were male. Eight studies (88.9%) reported that music engagement reduced loneliness. This systematic review demonstrates that music may have had a beneficial impact on loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings suggest that the use of music is an accessible method to cope with feelings of loneliness and improve overall wellbeing during times of social isolation.





Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analysis