Mental Health and the Urban Environment

There was a part of mental health that I never realized is another factor that contributes to human and animal mental health. Emotional support systems, behavior, incidents, living situations, and genetics play significant roles in our brain function. With awareness of the discussion on climate change and pollution, our mental health is affected by environmental statuses, just as much as our situations are.

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The Music Behind Motivation

I’ve experienced several mornings where I can’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed. All I feel like doing is endlessly scrolling through my phone. However, over time I learned that once I play one of my favorite songs, I get a little burst of energy. It feels as if a switch is flipped in my brain that makes me feel inspired instead of washed out. It is obvious how closely music and mood correlate, but there is an even deeper level of connection between music and motivation.

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Well-Being & Motivation

We rely upon resources to achieve well-being and motivation to maintain it. 

By definition, well-being is the “state of being or doing well in life […] (of a person or community)” (Oxford English Dictionary). We seek happiness in the long run, but along the way, it’s easy to lose sight of our goal. Life tends to blind the vision. We grow up being asked, “what do you want to be when you’re older?” and then spend our whole adult lives trying to figure it out. At times one may feel too busy, too destitute, too old, or even too insecure to reach their goals. These are all valid reasons to give up on a dream. Practicality beats out fantasy every time, no matter the situation. In light of this, it’s not a question of which possibility one strives for, but rather how to pursue a balance between the two. 

Fortunately, there exists a happy medium. It forms in the events that add up to maintain one’s overall well-being. Some people utilize the simple things in life to keep themselves balanced, for instance, getting a new dog, scoring well on exams, visiting a scenic place, or building a new friendship. Others go big, landing themselves in roles of national recognition, building nonprofit organizations, starting a family, or changing careers. These accomplishments and milestones are fueled by motivation. The factors implicated in reaching our goals can be categorized into three components: resources inherited, sought, and given ( “Social Determinants of Health”). We are born into a community. Depending on the circumstances within it, we have varying degrees of family, friends, healthcare, and safety. Those who are privileged enough to live with the full extent of these necessities are therefore motivated to maintain them. Those who are born without or are lacking any of these resources are motivated to obtain them. The latter may use methods like finding stable work, attending academic institutions, or turning to spirituality to do so. Some are successful in these efforts and choose to pass on their knowledge to others. The last resource used to achieve well-being is our ability to give. We give parts of ourselves, whether from the sentiment that goes into finding material gifts, or the words of our advice. The ability to give back is a motivating component of well-being as a whole and as the individual. The bridge between fantasy and practicality is motivation. 

Motivation empowers us to acknowledge that we may not yet have reached our goals, but we can do so with the right resources.


Oxford English Dictionary. “well-being, vbl. n.”;jsessionid=6C04BC77AD21CC7D7034E3096CDC0AD4.

“Social Determinants of Health.” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020,


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Art Designed By: Gretel Tassah