Arts, health, and well-being

Volume: 14 Issue: 3

In this issue: A focus on the connections between the arts, health, and well-being, including a report on art and the health of Aboriginal Peoples, a presentation on the arts and well-being, a summary of international research into the long-term connections between the arts and health, as well as a study of the neurochemical impacts of music.

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Articles

  • This brief report highlights the fact that cultural practices are important for “the wellness, health, and healing of Aboriginal peoples and communities”. The report indicates that the arts may have particular importance for Aboriginal Peoples in many ways.

  • Presentation hosted by Arts Health Network Canada and CH-NET Works! (a project of the Canadian Health Human Resources Network at the University of Ottawa)

    This presentation muses as to whether the arts could be a part of a “prescription for health”, in addition to a healthy diet, physical activity, proper health care, and good sleeping habits. The presentation provides a brief review of studies of arts engagement and well-being, and delves into the findings from the 2013 study The Arts and Individual Well-being in Canada.

  • Fifteen reports on “how engagement in the arts – as an audience member and/or practitioner – affects our physical and psychological health over time” are examined in this detailed review article, which concludes that “engagement in the arts is generally shown to have a positive impact upon the body’s physiology, in turn improving health and quality of life”.

  • Reviewing 400 research reports related to the neurochemistry of music, this article indicates that there is “promising, yet preliminary” evidence that music has positive effects on “(i) reward, motivation, and pleasure; (ii) stress and arousal; (iii) immunity; and (iv) social affiliation”.