Can a music festival improve your mental health?

by Ray Baughman 6/11/2022

I’d like to preface this article by saying that I am not a doctor; however, I have decades of experience with depression and anxiety. This post is just my experiences, and how music festivals have helped me cope with these issues. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, please seek professional help.

Not too long ago, my friend was telling me about an article she had read about music festivals helping people with chronic pain. As someone who has been to a bunch of festivals in the past 10 years, I thought it was an interesting idea that maybe attending music festivals could be good for people who suffer from other ailments such as depression and anxiety.

Now, before going any further I would like to mention that if you think your depression or anxiety might go away after attending one festival then it might be time to speak with a doctor as there are more serious underlying issues at hand. My social anxiety is very present at festivals but the healing power of music is worth the anxiety in order to conquer the depression. There are so many variables that go into making the festival experience the best it can be. That will be a follow up topic. For now this article is assuming everything goes well.

Music has the power to evoke so many emotions that we feel almost instantaneously when we hear a song on the radio or when we see our favorite band live onstage at a concert. These emotions can range from anger and sadness all the way down to love and happiness (and everything in between). When you attend a show/festival there is so much happening all around you that it gives your mind something else to focus on rather than thinking about things causing stress in life (this doesn’t mean they go away though). It’s important not only what kind of events you attend but also who accompanies you while attending those events because sometimes being around negative energy can cause more harm than good even though its intended purpose may seem positive at first glance…

Here are a few tips for letting go and having fun:

  • Let go of the past. If you’re holding onto old wounds, or if a bad breakup still stings, let it go! You can’t bring back that lost love and you can’t change what has happened in the past. Focus on where your life is now, not where it was or could have been. Look ahead toward a brighter future instead of dwelling on what used to be! This will help you let go faster so that when the time is right for love again, all those years of pain won’t stand in your way anymore.
  • Let go of expectations about how this festival should be going for everyone else (but not necessarily yourself). We know that music festivals usually consist mostly of young people who don’t mind being seen dancing around half-naked in public places; however sometimes older folks also attend these events because they like some bands too! This means that some people might look like hippies (which isn’t always bad), but others might just look like regular guys/gals who happen to dress casual at times too… There’s nothing wrong with either option so try not think about what other people are doing wrong because then we’d just spend all day judging other people instead learning how to better ourselves as individuals through interaction with others!”

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to treat various mental health disorders. It involves the use of art as a therapeutic tool to help improve the patient’s psychological well-being.

Art therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many psychological disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder. Depression can affect people in a variety of ways: it can cause them to feel sad for extended periods of time, lose interest in things they once enjoyed doing, lose motivation for daily tasks, have trouble sleeping at night or staying asleep, have trouble concentrating on tasks or conversations with others (or both), have feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness about one’s future or past accomplishments…the list goes on!

Art therapy helps people deal with these issues by allowing them an outlet through which they can express themselves and find new ways of coping with life’s challenges. For example, if someone feels worthless because they’ve failed at something important before (such as schoolwork), they may feel better when they paint pictures that show their skill level growing over time until finally achieving success – this is due partly because there are no right answers when it comes down to creative expression (you don’t necessarily need talent), but also because it gives us confidence knowing that we’re capable enough not just physically but mentally too!

Many festivals are incorporating art and live painting as part of their entertainment. As an artist I personally love it. I was terrified the first time I got asked to paint with a band. A part of me had already formed the sentence declining the offer, stammering some excuse about not having a canvas or something like that. But I shut that shit down quickly. I told myself that I had done the work, I had prepared for this moment with hard work over the previous couple of years. When opportunity knocks you gotta answer the door. I did and while it wasnt my masterpiece it was decent bit of work in a couple of hours. I didn’t embarrass myself. But what if I did fail miserably?  It would be ok. I know there will come a day when I fail in front of a large group of people and guess what? It’s ok to fail. It is not ok to never fail because I never tried. 

The key to art therapy is in the process. In the same way that music can be therapeutic, so can creating art. Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve the mental health of individuals. It is used to treat many psychological disorders, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • personality disorders
  • eating disorders and addictions

Art therapy helps people express themselves and find new ways of coping with life. It’s also used to help them overcome their fears, improve their moods, build self-esteem and increase their feelings of well-being.

When I first start down my journey as an artist a little over ten years ago I started with spray paint and stencils because I wanted to do some art for a book of poetry I had written in my early 20’s. If I had started with oil paint and brushes I very well might have quit. Its much easier to find a little success with stencils and rattle cans so I felt like I could creat decent art. It would have take me much longer to have success with brushes and the frustration may have caused me to quit. So its important to find some small success as a new artist. If you can do that you can eventually move to the more challenging skill of brush work. But thats just how it worked for me. I don’t presume to tell anyone how they should do anything. I’m sharing what I found to work for me and hopefully some of that is helpful to you. Im certainly not the best artist but I am improving everyday. 

When you’re at a music festival, there are no rules and you can let go of all the expectations that usually dictate your life. You don’t have to be on time for anything because there is no schedule. You can dance like nobody is watching and sing along to songs that make you feel something inside – even if it’s just happiness at hearing some more of your favorite song!

In conclusion, it is clear that the benefits of attending music festivals outweigh the risks. They provide an experience unlike any other and a joy for people of all ages. With a positive attitude and the right mindset, music festivals can be an invaluable tool in fighting depression.

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