Find out more about how the Cove app helps people who are feeling anxious or depressed to use music to communicate through a technique called expressive therapy.

The benefits of expressive therapy

Expressive therapy involves using creative forms of expression to help people process and cope with the difficult emotional issues they may be experiencing. The technique is helpful for people who have painful feelings or difficult experiences and who are struggling to express themselves.

How does Cove help people?

The Cove app helps people to improve their emotional and mental health by encouraging self-expression. The app can be used at any time, but it is most helpful when someone is finding it difficult to express themselves through talking or writing.

Cove encourages people to create music to capture a mood such as joy, sadness, calm or anger. This music can then be stored in a personal journal or shared with others. Cove can also be used alongside talking therapies and counselling.

To create music, people choose from one of six different moods: calm, struggling, longing, playful, clouded and gentle. The person is then encouraged to explore and be creative with different musical melodies, instruments and effects, to create a track which reflects their mood or what they are feeling.

These can be stored in a private journal which someone can return to at any time. People can also add any personal thoughts, tag music they have created and share it with others.

Who can use the service?

Cove is suitable for all age groups and is for anyone facing difficult emotional issues, who want to express through music what they may struggle to say with words. Cove is not a cancer specific service, but can benefit people living with cancer.

The Cove app is a free service available from the App Store.

About Cove

Cove has been created in collaboration with clinicians and other specialists, and tested, evaluated and approved by the NHS. It features in the NHS App Library.


Macmillan has no relationship with the organisation featured on this page and has not created or designed any of the services. Macmillan does not manage any of the service.

Macmillan has undertaken some research into the organisations and the service featured and we believe that the service may be of general benefit to people living with cancer. However, the organisation listed on this page are solely responsible for the services they offer.

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