We go to art museums, live concerts or dance parties simply because we enjoy them, but did you know that art and music may increase your life expectancy?
A recent study from the Netherlands examined 12,159 male acoustic, visual and literary artists and reflected that writers and musicians born between 1700 and 1899 had a life expectancy comparable to that of their society’s most elite strata. Despite the poor middle-class living conditions, musicians and writers lived a longer life on average.
What are the health benefits of art and music?
Better Mental Health
Art and music continue to be proven to improve mental health. In an article on The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel say that “art helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words, such as a diagnosis of cancer.”
“Artistic self-expression might contribute to maintenance or reconstruction of a positive identity.” – Healther L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel
Enhanced Brain Function
Art and music can also enhance your brain function by improving connectivity between the two hemispheres of your brain. Current Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) studies tend to support that music training can induce changes in cross-hemispheric connections, with significant differences frequently reported in various regions of the corpus callosum of musicians compared with non-musicians.
Stronger Immune System
According to Stuckey and Nobel, listening to music “may help to restore effective functioning in the immune system partly via the actions of the amygdala and hypothalamus.” These brain regions are implicated in mood regulation and hormonal processes, as well as in the body’s inflammatory response.
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at UC Berkely, also explains “immersing yourself in art or nature is good for the joints, and it could possibly preempt various diseases triggered by inflammation” and can “signal the immune system to work harder.”
How are you welcoming art and music into your life?
Join us for an 8-min Meditation Guided Art class and express yourself creatively!
Cohut, Maria. “What are the health benefits of being creative?”Medical News Today. February 16, 2018. Accessed June 21, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320947.php.
“Study finds art & music can increase life expectancy” Complete Wellness Report. Accessed June 21, 2019. https://www.completewellnessreport.com/art-music-can-increase-life-expectancy/.