Why music festivals can be good for your mental health
Given festivals can be a noxious cocktail of loud music, intense physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption and poor sleep, perhaps it’s not surprising how frequently a weekend at one of these events can end in a mental health nightmare. We’ve all been either that person who’s lost, confused and tripping out in the middle of a moshpit, or we’ve seen them there.
After all, a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to stave away anxiety, as are proper hydration and good, square meals. But who worries about those kinds of things when they’re enjoying a festival? It’s rare that punters get the nine good hours of shut-eye they need to stay alert and happy when they’re sleeping in a cramped, hot tent, surrounded by drunken revellers and noisy hoons – and rarer still that anyone will chow down on anything but salty, fattening snacks.
“Large outdoor music festivals are about music, fun and having a good time, but unfortunately they can and will pose many health-related risks,” Paul Gilligan, CEO of St. Patrick’s Mental Heath Services, told the website Walk In My Shoes. “Many of those [risks] result from increased use of drugs and alcohol. All psychoactive drugs have the potential to cause both short and long-term mental health problems. Festival-goers need to be aware and mindful of this fact”.
And, finally, there’s the music itself. Some controversial studies conducted by Finnish researchers have found that obsessively listening to dark and heavy music can increase one’s propensity to negatively brood over past hurts, impacting the chances of self-regulating their mood.