The Health Benefits of a Michigan Summer

Health benefits of a Michigan Summer

The Rockford Dam on a clear day!

In Michigan, Memorial Day weekend symbolizes the beginning of summer and the end of a tough winter and often disappointingly dreary spring. Docks are fully installed, boats are out of dry dock, and winter coats are confidently stowed in closets. Summer is cherished here because we know it is fleeting – a time to grab outdoor activities and experience the vivid greens and blues of the season.


The Health Benefits of a Michigan Summer

There is so much to love about summertime in Michigan. And the brain and body health benefits abound!


Extreme Beauty

I’ll say it again: the occasional dismal weather and the fierce winter make the clear days of summer that much better. The extreme beauty distracts you from your troubles. When you find joy in simple things, it can improve your attitude permanently. Beauty doesn’t have to be found in museums, galleries, and exotic cities. In fact, studies show that seeing beauty in normal activities can bring deep happiness to life. For tips on the best way to experience the awesomeness of Michigan Summer, you can read the article below.


Awe Walks for Mental Health

traverse city


Getting Creative on Rainy Days

Anyone who was born and raised in Michigan will remember that summer vacation feeling when you wake to hear the rain on the roof of the cottage Up North. Why do you think Michigan is so green? A chilly wind blows off Lake Michigan into the open window, and dreams of swimming and soaking up the sun are dashed.


After the disappointment, it’s time to get creative. And those are often the best and most memorable moments of all. Roasting marshmallows in the living room fireplace, hitting the maritime museum, reading a wonderful book draped in a lap blanket, bundling up, and hiking the dunes in spite of the rain are all ways to improvise and enjoy. Creativity improves intelligence and social and emotional success and kick-starts the development/repair of the executive functions of the brain. Ideas for recovering families? Click the link below for a summer full of fun!


Summer Holidays- Tips for Recovering Families



All manner of recovery and health concerns are positively affected by rigorous exercise. And exercise improves memory formation and focus. It also makes you look and feel better, and with the right equipment, you can get out of doors, rain or shine. There are more than 100 state parks in Michigan! Stroll the paved trails, investigate remote vistas, and work up a sweat.


International Dark Sky Park

On the shores of Lake Michigan is Headlands International Dark Sky Park  –  the only internationally designated preserve in the state. Spread a blanket and enjoy the Milky Way or aurora borealis and marvel at God’s creation. Or if you’re farther south, get away from the city lights and look up. Just look up.  The act of looking up produces brain alpha waves. Alpha waves help manifest vivid imagery, creativity, recall, and insight.


Sit Outside, Watch, and Listen

You don’t have to be an extreme hiker, biker, or runner to experience the health benefits of Michigan nature. If all you do is sit outside, watch, and listen, you will improve and replace pleasure receptors in the brain. A 2006 American Scientist study on perceptual pleasure and the brain chronicles how viewing stimulating, dynamic natural scenes triggers an increase in interactions of the mu (opioid) receptors in the brain’s visual cortex. Read more about the benefits of nature in the article below.


Nature Therapy in the Great Outdoors

red bench

62,000 Fresh Water Lakes!

What is it about gravitating toward water that makes us feel alive? On Friday afternoon during Michigan summer, there is an exodus to the lake. And with a state bordered by four of the five Great Lakes and more than 62,000 freshwater inland lakes, there’s enough “waterfront property” for everyone.


Boating in Michigan Summer

There are rivers to canoe and kayak, with enough fast water and fallen logs to keep you thinking of nothing but paddle, turn, be careful, and paddle faster. Whether it’s motoring, sailing, or rowing, boating in the clean air is a restorative way to soak up Vitamin D and relax.


Michigan Summer Recovery

One of the great things about recovery is the ability to appreciate the little things – the lack of urgency. It’s the simplicity of a well-stocked backpack. The sound of a woodpecker’s beak against a pine tree. Smelling summer wind across a freshwater lake. A glimpse of eaglets in their nest. In the same way, a gorgeous Michigan summer day is better because of the long winter that came before it; life in recovery is more vibrant because of the dark days. Green is the color of life, nature, renewal and energy. What better place to be than Michigan, now that summer with all its shades of green is here.


We offer a range of treatment modalities, including individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional counseling, and family therapy. Our new virtual programs are only 3 hours per day/three days a week. If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, eating disorders, or mental health conditions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help today. We’ll work together towards a brighter future. 

Michigan Summer people on beach


Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit