To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 6, Party4Health held a free, all-day festival at UBC to promote healthy partying. Party4Health is a Vancouver-based movement that aims to spread healthy party culture across Canada by showing how partying can improve physical and mental health when done in a healthy manner.
The Party Safari Festival was a sober event that demonstrated how to have fun partying without being dependant on alcohol or drugs. The festival featured three events — a morning rave, a silent disco and a guided outdoor party tour, as well as four workshops.
The day started at 7 a.m. in the Nest with a yoga session, followed by a dance party. Upon checking in, students chose a name tag with their inner party animal written on it. Throughout the day, students dropped in on whatever events fit their schedule.
Partying may have negative connotations of substance abuse, but it also has many positive benefits, such as creating connections between people and acting as a stress reliever. One workshop focused the creation of natural euphoria, which results from endorphin rushes while partying. Endorphins are a chemical that make us feel good and parties trigger the release of this chemical through dancing and laughter.
The workshop discussed a study where participants showed increased pain thresholds while dancing in sync and encouraged hands on participation by having UBC students dance in sync to replicate the study. Students found that synchronized dancing did indeed lead to an increased sense of connection and a better mood. The dance moves also encouraged laughter, another healthy aspect found at parties. Laughter has numerous health benefits and has even been found to improve memory.
When the outdoor party tour started in the evening, it was raining — however, this didn’t deter students from dancing outside. A makeshift cart of plywood held up by two bicycles transported two giant speakers around campus. Students danced in sync, with individual students taking turns making up moves and leading the group.
Party4Health hosts various events throughout the year and everyone is encouraged to come out and attend. If you are interested in checking out some of their upcoming parties, you can check out their Facebook page for more information.