Just Dance: A Prescription for Mental Wellbeing In a village on the east coast of China, a farming couple and their “rural-style shuffle dance” has gone viral on TikTok. Their dancing is joyful and upbeat, sometimes taking place in front of fields of corn or grazing cows. And it has been therapeutic. The husband, Fan Deduo, had fallen into a depression following […] Read More How Listening to Music May Ease Traumatic Stress When our lives are disrupted by the stress of a traumatic experience, like the pandemic, our mental health can be compromised. The constant disruption in our routines, the possibility or reality of loved ones becoming ill, the potential exposure to a life-threatening virus and the overall uncertainty of the situation makes it difficult for the […] Read More Can a Jam Session Help Healthcare Workers Battle Burnout? The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the entire healthcare system and the first responders treating those who fall ill. Even before the outbreak, half of all doctors and a third of nurses in the United States experienced symptoms of burnout, which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as “a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that […] Read More Let’s Get Physical: Dancing to Support Family Fitness at Home Millions of families are adjusting to a new normal of stay-at-home life. COVID-19 has changed how we learn and work and interrupted our routines for recreation and leisure time, too. For adults, gyms and fitness centers are closed. Children and youth are missing out on physical education, recess and after-school sports and activities. In many […] Read More Art Activities Can Be a Lifeline for Lonely Seniors Even before the coronavirus pandemic, older adults were at risk for social isolation and loneliness. Because the elderly are more vulnerable to COVID-19, they are wisely being asked to stay in their homes, retirement centers, and nursing facilities, reducing their potential exposure to the virus. But with restrictions on their movements as well as visits […] Read More 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 […] Read More 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 […] Read More Dialog Series: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma “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 […] Read More 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 […] Read More 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 […] Read More More → Join the neuroaesthetics conversation. Subscribe here.