The Mozart Effect

The Mozart Effect

Welcome to a fascinating world of mental health, the arts and society. As the founder of a charity which explores the relationship between mental health and music, I have come to realise that the arts impacts almost every aspect of who we are, how we think and what we do. On The Mozart Effect, I cover music, the arts and their intersection with health and well-being, mental illness, creativity, mood, memory, identity, faith, social change and revolution. I will be talking to musicians, artists and writers as well as therapists, activists, social commentators, academics and people with lived experience.

Episodes

March 29, 2021 1 min

The Mozart Effect - a Mostly Mad Music podcast. A world where music meets mental health and science.

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Our first episode looks at creativity, mental illness and reality. Dreams, hallucinogenic drugs, psychosis. Is it all just a spectrum of alternative realities? And how does that translate through a creative lens into art, poetry, writing and music?

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In this episode we talk to clinical psychologist and co-founder of Heavy Metal Therapy, Dr Kate Quinn, from the UK. Heavy metal music, perhaps more than any other sort of music, has a reputation for the negative effect it has on its listeners’ behaviours and mental health. Historically, it has been linked to mental ill health and antisocial behaviour. But recent studies show the opposite might be true. Join us as we dive into the f...

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Anxiety and panic attacks can be debilitating. But they are also relatively treatable. In addition to other more conventional management strategies, music might also be able to help. In this episode I discuss some creative musical approaches to help manage panic attacks and anxiety.

Relaxing playlists - classical and Electronic Dance Music (EDM)

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There are a disproportionately high number of musicians with mental illness. Why? This week’s episode explores the relationship between low mood, anxiety and the creative process in song writing. We also look at how the creative process can help channel low mood and anxiety in a therapeutic way to achieve a greater understanding of who you are. Finally we look at  the importance of mental health advocacy in the music industry.

In ea...

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Dr Sandra Garrido is a pianist, violinist, researcher and writer of Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music?  Dr Garrido says melancholic music impacts people differently, depending on their mental health. “Evidence suggests that people with tendencies to clinical depression respond to music differently at a cognitive level," she said. "Those with depression usually have the same motivations for listening to sad music as other pe...

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This week I explore arts in health and healing with Dr James Williams PhD, from the University in Derby, in the UK. Arts in health and healing refers to using things like music, literature and art in healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes. Results from over 3000 studies have identified a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, promotion of health, and management and ...

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This week we discuss urban areas in large cities and the impact that living without access to trees or parkland can have on mental and and even physical health. We look at access to green and blue spaces (water and parkland) and their relationship to wellbeing. We also discuss the mental health effect of COVID and being indoors for extended periods of time as well as some “nature” strategies, including music, that can help offset s...

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Today I speak with Peter O’Shea about what inspired him to leave a corporate career to work with young kids from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Peter works on several programs. The Grapple Gang teaches jiu jitsu to kids in schools  and the Gloves not Gunz initiative provides a sporting and community centre to help young people move away from possible antisocial and criminal activity.  Lastly, Peter works on a program which tak...

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This week I am taking a closer look at mental health, identity, addiction, loneliness and music. How do they all fit together?  Associate Professor Genevieve Dingle PhD and I discuss the dynamics of social identity, its advantages and possible disadvantages and how to create positive social identities using the arts - like music and dance. A really interesting topic. 

Genevieve Dingle is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology...

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My very first podcast episode was about the links between creativity and alternative perceptions of reality. In this episode, I want to revisit creativity and the relationship between creativity and loneliness, seen through the lens of writers and poets.

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This week I continue to explore social identity, music and mental health with Sonia Orlu. What impact does it have when you join and leave new social groups? How does this affect your sense of identity and your mental health? What is the importance of faith in forging identity? And what role does music play?

Sonia Orlu is Nigerian and a PhD student in Political Science at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Her current areas of academi...

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This week I talk to Maxton Hunter about social media as the new marketplace for artistic expression.  The early heady days where “blowing up” and finding “instafame” was possible are long since gone.  Now potential audience members are often prevented from finding artists they like, instead being presented with an array of images, pages or advertisements Big Tech choses for them with its endlessly changing algorithms.  Visual socia...

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The World Health Organisation describes health promotion as enabling people to increase control over their own health. It covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions that are designed to benefit and protect individual people’s health and quality of life by addressing and preventing the root causes of ill health, not just focusing on treatment and cure. With over one billion monthly users, Instagram has become a go...

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This week I talk to my friend Allen Higginbottom, lived experience of paranoid schizophrenia, about psychiatric and sociological interpretations of mysticism and spirituality. Together we begin a preliminary exploration into the vast unmapped world of unshared experience. I talk to Allen about staying grounded and using music to manage mental health. We also cover some of his top tips for managing mental illness and any advice he w...

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Binge listening is described as repeatedly listening to a song, artist or album for an extended amount of time. This is a very common occurrence with teenagers. But why do we do it? And is it good or bad for us? In the absence of any significant research in this space, I decided to take the question of binge listening to my peers and Instagram followers - where we had a live talk about binge listening and some of the reasons we thi...

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Loneliness is often described as social pain—a psychological mechanism which motivates individuals to seek social connections. For many people, loneliness is associated with unwanted lack of connection and intimacy and can affect physical and mental health. It can take root deep within the psyche as a restless longing for something. It can be most intense when you’re surrounded by smiling people or in the middle of crowds. Loneline...

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Music, identity and mental illness: Using music to arouse empathy for and between identity groups such as abled and disabled people (people with severe mental illness).

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) stated that it 'is seriously concerned about the inequalities in terms of physical health and life expectancy of people with serious mental illness'. People with serious mental illness liv...

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August 23, 2021 29 min

The recent world events and  subsequent bombardment of graphic tragedy in real-time have got me thinking once again, about the news, why I feel compelled to watch it, and what the (long term) negative implications might be. This week I look a closer look at vicarious trauma (VT),  ‘the negative transformation in the helper that results (across time) from empathic engagement with trauma survivors and their traumatic material, combin...

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In today's talk, I cover the links between narrative therapy, confessional poetry and the emergence of the phrase “My Truth”.

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