Music Therapy Conversations - Kiz Bangerh

Episode 59 - 16 February 2022
Topics: Music Therapy in General

Kiz Bangerh is the founder of Hip Hop Heals.

Kiz Bangerh is the founder of Hip Hop Heals. Here's how she describes herself on her website:

"I lost my older sister, Promila, in a car accident in 2000. After, I suffered a delayed traumatised grief reaction. I was an English Literature graduate and keen writer but experienced a creative block that lasted ten years. During this time, I trained as a secondary English teacher, and enjoyed a fruitful career in museum and gallery education.

When my father died in 2010, I was in recovery from a delayed traumatised grief reaction and a breakdown. This is when I discovered therapeutic writing. My writer’s block came undone. I already had an MA in Literature and decided to do an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes to share what I’d learnt about self-healing through creativity. I set up Hip Hop HEALS, a mental health project that tackles mental health inequalities in disadvantaged groups, particularly BAME groups, young people and men.

We deliver poetry therapy-style workshops in schools, probation centres, mental health units and homeless hostels. I am also now Director of Story with Lapidus International and Communications Director for its academic research journal, LIRIC, as well as Lived Experience Champion for LENS Network (Lived Experience Network).

Outside of work, I run Dubgasm: a social action fundraiser for Brum's foodbank and homeless communities. I still love teaching and tutor Looked After Children in my spare time. Recently, I was selected for Lloyd's Bank's School for Social Entrepreneurs to develop Hip Hop HEALS into a social enterprise business with a grant of £1000. Through this, I’ve been developing mental health resources using Hip Hop’s central tenet: ‘Knowledge of Self’. My goal is to spread knowledge and research about the therapeutic power of Hip Hop culture. My thesis on this topic applied narrative and poetic inquiry to interpret MC interviews (available on request:"

Kiz spoke in detail about these experiences. This includes some graphic description of her sister's car crash - so be aware of this particularly towards the later part of the interview (1:00:13-1:01:37). She talks about her PTSD and how her creative process has helped her to integrate traumatic memories.


Hip Hop Heals website home page:

Glowitheflow Podcast:

Trauma Research Foundation (includes videos on Hip Hop Therapy):

Trauma Research Foundation - YouTube

Feeling the Beat: TRF Tuesday Therapeutic Applications of Hip Hop Workshop Series Week 1 - YouTube


Afonu, D. (2015). Hip-Hop As Community Psychology?: A Participatory Research Project with Adolescent Co-Researchers (Doctoral dissertation, University of East London).

Allen, T. N., & Randolph, A. (2020). Listening for the Interior in Hip-hop and R&B Music. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 6(1), 46-60.

Kirkland, K., & King, S. (2019). Rap and recovery: A music therapy process-oriented intervention for adults with concurrent disorders. www. approaches. gr ISSN 2459-3338, 70.

Levy, I. P. (2019). Hip-hop and spoken word therapy in urban school counselling. Professional School Counselling, 22(1b), 2156759X19834436.

Travis, R., Gann, E., Crooke, A. H., & Jenkins, S. M. (2019). Hip Hop, empowerment, and therapeutic beat-making: Potential solutions for summer learning loss, depression, and anxiety in youth. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 29(6), 744-765.