• The Arts Can Liberate Us from Loneliness

    For many people, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate their bond with their loved one with cards and candy and champagne.  But for too many others, the day can be a painful reminder of their isolation. This is not a rare burden. A 2020 survey conducted by the health insurer Cigna found that 3 […]

  • Group Singing Provides a Good Refrain for the Brain

    As the holiday season kicks into high gear, the sounds of choral singing are everywhere. But group singing has been growing in popularity in all seasons. According to the Chorus Impact Study, participation in American choral groups rose from 14% in 2008 to 17% in 2018. Today, more than 54 million Americans sing in choruses. […]

  • How Music Can Help People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

    In 2014, the documentary “Alive Inside” popularized the notion that music can be used in some patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or dementia to elicit responsiveness and memories. In a review of the film, psychologist Rick Scheidt remarks that power of the film lies in showing how music causes the patients to “move instantly from […]

  • Reading Fiction May Improve Real-Life Relationships

    Great literature can transport us to times and places outside our own existence. As we turn each page, the characters and plots become more and more real to us. This experience of being immersed in a good book is more than entertaining; it also may enhance our real lives as social beings. A number of […]

  • Dialog Series: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma

    Jim Gordon, MD presenting

    “There are two common and dangerous misconceptions about psychological trauma,” states Dr. James S. Gordon in the introduction to his new book, “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma.” “The first is that trauma comes to only some of us…The second is that trauma is an unmitigated disaster, causing permanent emotional crippling, requiring never-ending […]

  • Nigel Osborne: World-Class Composer Uses Music to Heal Children Traumatized by War

    Fear courses through your blood as the sounds of sniper shots surround you; the buildings you once recognized as your neighborhood are reduced to rubble on the ground. The destruction traumatizes you and your family; your children struggle to find the words to describe their feelings and regularly wake up from nightmares.  One day, an […]

  • How the Great Outdoors Improves Mental Health

    Mother nature knows best.

    Our society’s rapid pace of life and addiction to digital technology have created a stress epidemic in the 21st century. But there may be another major contributing factor: chronic nature deprivation. Our connection to nature has become very tenuous. More than half the world’s population currently lives in cities, a number that is predicted to […]

  • The Art of Recovering from War

    Future military doctors receive training in art therapy.

    White Coat Ceremony at USU

    The military face many health risks and challenges on the battlefield, but the scars they carry are not always visible. While physical injuries are on the decline in recent years, service members are increasingly struggling with lingering psychological tolls. More than 500,000 veterans of the U.S. military live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic […]

  • Creative Forces: Healing Arts for the Military

    Military service member painting

    On Memorial Day, we honor members of the military who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our country’s liberty. We also pay homage to those who returned home bearing the scars of their heroism. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a fitting time to acknowledge that more than 500,000 service members are living […]

  • The Sound Resonance Project: Can We Measure the Emotions of Music?

    Woman singing opera

    To witness the healing power of music, you don’t have to look any further than the spontaneous outbursts of singing by thousands of people as they watched in horror and disbelief at the flames shooting out of the Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday. In these gentle voices, there is the sound of sorrow and grief in […]