‘The biggest rush of serotonin ever’: Students on how clubbing improves their mental health

Just rave the trauma away x


Half empty kebab box festering on your bedroom floor, unidentified man in your bed, wine stains all over your favourite top– there are plenty of things to regret after a night out. But, it turns out, one thing you don’t need to punish yourself for is choosing clubbing over mindfulness. Because, according to research from Motion nightclub in Bristol, 90 per cent of young people actually think clubbing is good for their mental health, too. 

“It’s just like anything that you find fun,” University of York student, Kate Sullivan, tells The Tab. “I enjoy clubbing so when I go it helps me destress and get a good work life balance…..It does give me the biggest rushes of serotonin ever,” she adds, admitting her mental health would probably suffer if she were forced to give up clubbing altogether. 

Music is one of the factors that contribute to this mood boost– even for those that don’t generally enjoy a huge session. “Clubbing is hell for your mental health,” claims Sophie Ell from Cardiff Uni. But if “someone we like is performing that night” then the concert or DJ can still massively improve her mood. 

This is backed up by science (specifically, research by Deakin University in Victoria, Australia from 2017), which found raving or other ‘communal musical experiences’ help people live happier and longer lives with more self-worth, mental stimulation and sense of closeness to others. 

Similarly, dancing to said music on a night out is one of the elements of clubbing that gets your endorphin levels up. So, if you’re someone that stands in the corner vaping with a pint–you might want to think again because doctors have even prescribed dancing as a medicine for anxiety and depression on the NHS. 

But there is one common enemy among both students that love and hate a large one: hangxiety. “I don’t think the fun of the night before is worth the hangxiety in the morning for me,” says Cardiff Uni student, Charl Wright. “I think getting excited for a night out and then once I’m there it definitely helps my mental health,” adds Millie Stanyer from the University of Liverpool. “But then the next day I feel awful and the hangxiety is too much.” 

So, many have decided to simply cut the problem out and join the 23 per cent of young people who’ve gone teetotal. “I’ve clubbed sober [or] on one drink and had the best nights – so clubbing can help [mental health],” says Hermoine Blandford from the University of Exeter. “But club culture [drinking and drugs] probs not.” 

Yet, even without comedowns, is the chaos and mayhem that clubbing throws your life into really still worth it? “It’s a bit of a schlep sometimes,” says Nottingham student, Reese Miller. “Spending money, feeling awful the next day. But, in the long-term, it’s so mega fun. I’ve got so many stories and memories from clubbing that without it I’d feel rubbish.”

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One year from the Girls Night In boycotts, where do we stand on drink spiking? 

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