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How the Performing Arts Helps My Mental Health

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

Have you ever seen a live show? Not necessarily a concert or even a dance performance, but a live theatre performance? If not, I recommend you do.


Because, it is through the art of performance that the most genuine and thought-provoking displays of emotions are shown.

When an actor walks on stage, they become someone new. They take who they are offstage and put it into the text of a different character, and display their emotions onstage for the entire audience to see. In these moments they are purely and simply vulnerable, and it is these moments of vulnerability that are able to inspire.

Seeing someone up on stage, crying, laughing, or experiencing the most extreme emotion on the spectrum can remind us audience members that it is okay to feel this way, and that it is okay to feel lost even when you feel like you should have it all together.

In these moments, the connection between the audience and the performer is indescribable, and oh-so powerful.

It is through live theatre that our lives are able to be transformed, and we're able to make discoveries about ourselves, and the world around us.

I am a firm believer in the fact that seeing live theatre can heal us, challenge us, and help anyone who is struggling, regardless of what they are struggling with.

Mental illness is something so many people struggle with, and although seeing a show can not "cure" anything, seeing a show can change our thoughts, morph our attitudes, and sometimes make the days seem a little bit brighter.

Want to see what I mean? Check out these performances/songs from recent Broadway musicals, and see what they do for you.

I promise you, you won't regret it.

The Color Purple- The Color Purple Reprise

Dear Evan Hansen- Only Us

Waitress- She Used to be Mine

Hamilton- Burn

Written by Julia Perry 

1 comment

  • Love this so much (:
    I’ve been involved in over 16 productions over 5 years and can also say that my mental health has improved so much from participation. ❤ Cast members turn into family members, my self confidence has spiked, and I have faced challenges with vulnerability that I’ve never experienced before. If you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone I totally recommend trying it out. Thank you for writing!!

    Hannah on

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