The Mental Health Benefits of Raving
#1 It fosters human connection
There’s no talking at a rave; it’s too loud. The nearest you can get is to get close to the object of your attention, clasp your hands tightly around their ear, and shout loudly ‘I’M JUST GOING TO THE BAR!’ which of course deafens the poor soul you’re talking to.
Verbal communication is kept to a minimum, so you dance without words.
Body language becomes the means of communication.
Your eyes meet a fellow stranger across the room at just the moment a track you both like kicks in, and you both nod at each other. A broad smile ripens on your faces at exactly the same time, as you both raise one hand in the air.
In normal life, we’re deprived of these moments. The closest we’ll get is when we’re on a busy commuter carriage, and someone pushes past us. You might get a mutual eye roll with a stranger, or a faintly conciliatory half smile, to acknowledge that they too, were inconvienienced by this person.
By feeling closer to others, it boosts our subjective well being.
It can also transcend cultural boundaries, and become part of a shared unitary experience for the ravers, regardless of what country they’re from. Music really is a universal language that we all connect with.
Research done at Deakin University in Australia found that going to see live music regularly can increase life expectancy by up to nine years. The study found that participants had increased feelings of self-worth, mental stimulation, and sense of closeness to others while at an event. Amazingly, just 20 minutes of ‘gig time’ could boost wellbeing by 20%.
#2 Dancing increases wellbeing
At a rave, you’re hit with a wall of music. The lights, the sounds, the bass pumping up from the floor so hard it echoes through every fibre and sinew…