Music and mental health – ESDO – getting hold of that natural high



I am on a mission to get more ESDO! Don’t worry it’s nothing illegal, just some natural feel good happy hormones that are freely available to anyone who wants to purposely tap in to unlimited supplies; yes unlimited. We all experience the effects of ESDO – Endorphins, Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin and the common theme these hormones have is a feel good factor.

We’ve all felt loved, inspired, motivated and energetic among others at various points in our lives, and when we experience high levels of these chemicals this is normally when we achieve the most. This is definitely the case in my experience. First of all it’s impossible to feel on top of the world 24/7, and quite frankly that would be exhausting but it would certainly be quite handy to have more frequent highs and even better if we could have some control in experiencing them.

I love finding new ways that allow me to tap in to and manipulate the natural chemicals we all have for my own benefit, and the subject really fascinates me. Singing and music in general has always given me a rush of endorphins and never fails to give a mental boost when I need it most. For me singing involves a lot of emotion and when I sing I always look for a song that reaches me on a personal level; it is always about searching for ‘that feeling’. Equally watching and listening to individuals perform gives me a similar rush. There’s something so magical about music. There must be a reason that it is part of most cultures around the world. I even use music for inspiration when I write. No matter how hard I try if I’m not in the mood I just can’t write or if I do it doesn’t tend to be any good. For me, just like when I sing I can’t force it, it has to flow! I often put on a favorite album while I write which normally results in my best stuff. I highly recommend giving it a go.

Singing with others

Singing with an another person or a group of people is also a big favorite of mine and not only brings a rush of endorphins but also Oxytocin that goes hand in hand when connecting and creating with other people. There is nothing quite like the experience of group singing when the main goal is to sing as a unit in harmony with one another. It takes time and practice for individuals to get in sync but once you get to that place you feel a massive sense of achievement. It is a wonderful way to bring people together and never fails to brighten up my day or week. I’m pretty sure that during the years I sang in a group regularly, I never experienced any signs of depression, which had been something I had dealt with in the past. With this in mind I can’t recommend it enough, what ever might be going on in your life, whether you are dealing with the daily effects of Cystic Fibrosis, struggling with mental health or just need a mental boost, I promise that even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, get out there anyway; sing/spend time with others, drag yourself out of the house if you must and you will feel a bit better. There is something so special about spending time with people who make you smile and who share your interests. You will feel better for it ❤

Need some back up/support

If you live in the UK and would like any help finding a singing group/choir/music lessons of some kind or similar opportunities please do get in touch as I can both support you and point you in the right direction❤

Some practical mood boosting tips

My mood boosting fail safes:

1. Singing (alone or with a group)

2. Listening to music (add some crazy ‘no one’s watching’ dancing if you like)

3. Meet up with a good friend

4. Laugh, A LOT! (My other half Simon is normally my go to comedian but Lee Evans or Michael McIntyre will do just fine 😂)

5. Exercise (I’ve tried some climbing/bouldering recently which is a lot of fun)

6. Write a to do/check list (why is this so satisfying!)

7. Complete a task no matter how small (tick it off a to do list for an extra hit of dopamine)

8. Text or email a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while

9. Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for

10. Write down what is worrying you, write down what you can and can’t control then take action on what you can control and put the rest out of your mind

11. Tell someone that you are in a bad mood, feel down or feel crappy health wise (it always takes the edge off for me)




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