With more people turning to the Arts and creativity as an outlet and mindful break, Label Volunteer, Lade Oyewole, explores how the creative arts have been shown to support mental well-being, as well as the ways in which this can be done.
Creative arts such as: music, dance, art and drama play an important role in mental well-being as they offer an escape or some sort of distraction, the opportunity to meet new people and the release of endorphins. Engaging in the arts can have long-lasting and powerful effects on our mental health which can enable us to manage our mental well-being in a proper, safe and efficient manner.
Music has been seen as a creative art that effects our emotions deeply which may cause one to feel as if they can escape from reality. Escapism music pulls you out of reality and transports you to a more uplifting and positive environment. Music has been used to spread positive messages relating to mental health which have managed to make a huge impact on peoples lives. A prime example is Logics hit song “1-800-273-8255”,the song’s title is the phone number of the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. After the song’s release, calls directed to the NSPL rose by 27%, and visits to their website increased from 300,000-400,000 over the following months. This shows how one song has impacted the lives and mental well-being of many people around the world as it has offered a way to escape and mend their problems.
Dance is one of the most powerful creative arts to engage in as it can be used to express our emotions and it increases social interaction. Dancing can be used as a form of therapy as it is known to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. For people who don’t like expressing their feelings verbally, dance allows them to show their emotions by using their facial expressions and body language to do so. A great dance type for this is contemporary dance as it strives to bind the mind and body through fluid dance movements.
Writing is a great way to put your feelings into words as it lets you jot down the emotions you can’t seem to let up. Sometimes working on your own craft can help you gain a new perspective or control over a situation which could help improve your mental stability. A good example of a poem supporting mental health is a short unnamed poem by Rupi Kaur from ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’. The poem encourages and teaches its readers to know it’s okay to ask for help and how there are people out there who are always willing and glad to help us. Reading short poems like that reassures people and makes them feel less alone.
The creative arts have helped immensely when it comes to mental health as it has given people a plethora of ways to help themselves and others. Sometimes talking to someone isn’t the only option and creative arts take people on a path of self discovery and recovery.