What Is the Drumming for Healing Program at Roots Recovery?

What Is the Drumming for Healing Program at Roots Recovery?

While traditional forms of therapy and treatment are essential for one’s recovery journey and mental health, creative expression and more modern or unique forms of therapy can also be beneficial. Creative therapy groups allow clients to express themselves differently, developing a deeper connection with themselves and gaining a greater emotional intelligence. 

Creative group therapy is a significant part of Roots Recovery’s approach to mental health and addiction recovery. We offer many types of creative expression in programs like art therapy, narrative music group therapy, improv therapy, and creative writing therapy. Although all those therapies help clients heal and grow, our Drumming For Healing program, led by David Hickman, plays a significant role in many of our clients’ recovery journeys.

Drumming For Healing

The “Music, Medicine, and Meditation” Group at Roots Recovery offers the Drumming for Healing program. In this program, the group goes to a park to drum and creatively release their emotions and energy. For many clients, this group is a favorite service. Many past clients have recognized this as a very emotional and healing outlet.

Drumming and musical expression allow clients to express themselves in different ways. One benefit is the freedom to release their emotions instead of bottling them up inside. For those who are typically uncomfortable opening up verbally to heal, drumming and music may be a more beneficial outlet. 

By changing rhythms, sounds, and beats, clients can express their emotions and inner feelings and share them with the group if they want. Clients develop a deeper connection with themselves through musical expression and can also understand other people’s emotions in this group setting. The Drumming for Healing program has benefits for both mental health and addiction recovery.

Benefits of Drumming for Mental Health

Clients with mental health disorders may experience difficulties with thinking, feelings, moods, and behaviors, which alter one’s daily functioning. About one in five adults experience a mental health disorder, but less than half receive mental health services. 

Struggling with mental health can alter one’s life long-term, but seeking and receiving services for these struggles can improve one’s life greatly. Traditional forms of therapy and treatment, though, are not the only options. Programs at Roots Recovery, such as David Hickman’s drumming program, may provide added benefits beyond the traditional treatment models.

The Healing Power of Music

Music is significant to many cultures and has been proven to enhance physical and mental well-being. Many clients diagnosed with mental disorders have experienced a visible improvement in their overall well-being and mental health through music therapies. Physically, clients may experience improvement in heart rate, motor skills, brain stimulation, and immune system. 

For mental health, specifically, music-based activities with the support of a trained professional can have tremendous therapeutic benefits. In a supportive, positive, and proactive environment, clients feel safe to express themselves through music and use this creative expression to heal. Often clients will see improvements in mood, cognition, and behavior. Leaders of music-based therapies will tailor music specifically to clients to support them in this way. 

Music groups help improve one’s ability to connect with themselves and others, express emotional struggles in a non-verbal setting, and participate in a safe environment to encourage healing and growth. Therapies such as the Drumming for Healing program allow clients to continue using music outside of these specified group therapies to continue their healing journey. 

Benefits for Addiction Recovery

For 21 million Americans, alcohol and substance use disorders are a fact of life. However, only ten percent of people with these disorders receive treatment. The dependency on substances to self-medicate can disrupt one’s life in many areas. This can lead to people experiencing devastation in their lives at the hands of alcohol or drugs. 

While it is overwhelming to seek help, those with addiction benefit greatly from beginning their recovery journey. This allows them to create a fulfilling life outside of substances. Therapies and medications are often paired together in recovery. People also learn to use new and improved coping mechanisms to face life’s challenges.

Finding Inner Peace 

The benefits of music-based therapy are proven. Beyond the services offered at Roots Recovery, music therapy can also be practiced on a smaller scale in one’s environment. Although it is not a conventional healing method, it can be just as powerful in helping people overcome their challenges and find the inner peace and healing they seek.

With the act of drumming and, in some instances, songwriting, people can experience positive emotional change and internal relaxation. Drumming practices are also proven to aid clients who have experienced repeated relapses. Feelings of anger, depression, stress, and anxiety that may surface in recovery are also eased through drumming therapy groups. It’s an often overlooked but extremely valuable addition to a healing and recovery program that we at Roots are proud to offer.

Here at Roots Recovery, our “Music, Medicine, and Meditation” group leader, David Hickman, offers a Drumming for Healing program. In this program, drumming is used to help clients express themselves nonverbally and release stress and emotional turmoil that may surface in addiction recovery and mental health treatment. Often people have difficulty expressing their emotions fully in a verbal setting. This is why implementing more nonverbal creative programs for clients to participate in allows them to reach new levels of healing and inner peace. Clients often experience improvements in anxiety and anger in this program and find it very therapeutic and emotional. To learn more about our Drumming for Healing program and other services, call (562) 473-0827

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“I am so grateful to be an alumni of Roots. Roots took me from my darkest of places, to the brightest and most beautiful part of life I've ever lived. They genuinely care about their clients. You will not be a number or a paycheck here. After discharging in February, I still receive help and words of wisdom whenever needed. Roots helped me battle things I'd been struggling with for over 14 years and finally put them behind me. I love roots with all my heart, and always will.”


“Just got 365 days sober today all thanks to these people at Roots. And saved my marriage.”


“It's great to see such a high quality of care program in Long Beach! The entire staff shows great care and compassion for their clients. The therapists are among the best around. Their admissions and case management is compassionate and driven to help you succeed! If your looking for help with trauma or substance abuse, this is the place for help!”


“Very serene setting, you feel right at home when you walk in. The staff are super nice and really care about their clients.”


“The most compassionate and knowledgeable staff! Roots Through Recovery offers the best addiction care and treatment available. They use multiple disciplines to cater to a wide variety of clients. Music therapy, art therapy....you name it, Roots has it! Do yourself a kindness and check them out. You'll be glad you did.”