[Podcast] Long May You Run: Taking the risk on the greatest adventure

“Life is a wonderful adventure… you never know what adventure is going to be presented to you… take the risk on what this adventure will hold for you!”

Image of Alhambra in Grenada, Spain from Planet Ware

I have had the great and distinct pleasure of getting to know our guest, Dennis Markway, over the last several years. You may never meet a more genuine person and leader than Dennis. Whether in his day-to-day work with Iron Horse Wealth Management, or his support of organizations like Girls Rock! Des Moines, or his continued support of organizations near and dear to my heart like AFSP - Iowa and The Fletcher Foundation, Dennis has a huge heart for people and for positive mental health.

The conversation we mention in the podcast, in preparation for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walk, was an emotional rollercoaster. Little did I know the experience that created the Dennis I know and love. You can find this discussion on the Out of the Darkness Facebook page. Dennis would later share that it was the first time he had openly discussed this story - and I am so thankful he trusted me and that platform to strengthen others! Our podcast is a wonderful continuation of this conversation - discussing more of his support of mental health and another worthy organization to which he gives his time and talents.

Dennis mentioned his love of music and connection to Neil Casal Music Foundation, a foundation created to inspire future musicians and bring mental health support to musicians already on the path. The foundation donates music instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools where Neal was born and raised, as well as making donations to much needed mental health organizations that support musicians in need. Multiple scholarly articles continue to show the correlation between music education, availability, and music therapy in improved mental health and suicide prevention.

In their article titled The Impact Of Music Experiences On Emotions, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention We Are All Music noted that "Music therapy can target a variety of physical and mental health goals, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, strengthening memory, enhancing self-regulation skills, managing pain, and improving coping and self-esteem. Music therapy is an evidence-based treatment."

The Jed Foundation shared eight ways music can improve your mental health. These eight reasons should implore us to continue supporting music education and the arts in schools.

Eight ways music can improve your mental health

  • Music can be distracting and lower your stress
  • Music can help you feel your feelings
  • Music can make it easier to talk about what's troubling you
  • Music can help you figure out who you are
  • Music builds community
  • Music builds your brain's capacity and connections
  • Music can be a quick mood booster
  • Music can benefit people who are eaf or have hearing loss

Please consider listening in, joining in the conversation, and most importantly always remember, you are loved, you are needed, you are appreciated, and you should never feel like you have to walk alone!