At one point, I was studying the relationship between certain religions and depression and I found that art appreciation has been found in various studies to reduce or ameliorate psychological depression. Outwardly, when we think of the “Hot or Not” contest or May Madness, it might seem to be pointless and/or hurtful. But the question is whether or not there are some benefits. Do boys and men have better mental health by appreciating the women and girls who are pretty? Do the girls and women have any benefits that come to them from seeking to be pretty, by flirting or being attractive?
One “study finds that an appreciation of culture and the arts can do wonders for a man’s health, including lowering his risk of anxiety and depression.” Men who went to museums or art exhibits had a 14% greater chance of reporting good health than those who did not take in these events . . .
I think that there are other studies with similar conclusions, but I have not looked for them in the past day so as to add them to this webpage. Perhaps I will go looking for some more of the studies on a different day, showing that art and music appreciation are good for one’s mental health, at least if that is measured by reducing or eliminating depression.
Here are some results from a study on the relationship between art appreciation and mental health . . .
A study released by the University of Western Australia has found that enjoying and participating in the arts for just two hours per week can have a positive effect on our mental health and overall wellness.
Their love of the arts included things like photography, music, painting, theatre, craft, fashion, reading and sculpture, and their involvement could include being a spectator or actually taking part in the act of artistic expression.
I will continue to research this topic . . . I did some research on this topic 2 or 3 years ago, and I think some of the conclusions I found were even more striking. (By research, I mean, I searched for and read conclusions and findings of studies.)
Here is the advice from Dr. “Hubpages.”
I’ve heard it from a few people now… stories of depressed friends going to their GP and at some stage being asked, “Are you, by any chance, an evangelical Christian?” Have you heard similar tales?
I’m not sure whether we’ve ended up on any official lists of “predisposing factors” but it certainly makes you think.
So let’s ask a tough question: Is there anything about evangelicalism (as opposed to other kinds of Christianity) that makes depression even harder? Or even, perhaps, more likely?
Working with the records of just over 50,000 men and women, Cuypers asked the participants how often they had attended a museum or art exhibit, seen a concert, film or play, spectated at a sporting event or gone to a church event in the past six months. He and his team also asked the participants whether they had actively engaged in cultural pursuits such as singing or dancing, and whether they were members of any clubs or other organizations. They also asked the volunteers to rate their health and how satisfied they were with their lives.
The more cultured participants were, the better their self-reported health: 84% of those who participated in at least four activities, whether they were creators or consumers, said they were in good or very good health; 91% of them reported being satisfied with their lives.