The Late Movies: Coney Island Soundtrack

On this date in 1927, the historic Cyclone roller coaster opened at Coney Island. (You could ride it for 25 cents back then. Now it's eight bucks a person!) The Cyclone was declared a New York City landmark on July 12, 1988, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991. Being absolutely terrified of heights, I have never gotten anywhere near this (or any other) coaster. But it's served as inspiration for many popular songs and music videos. Here, six of the best.

Off to the Races

Lana del Rey calls herself "the queen of Coney Island."

Coney Island

"I'm going to Coney Island have myself a dog," sings Good Old War.

Coney Island

Death Cab for Cutie released this song on their 2011 album The Photo Album.

Please Don't Go Girl

New Kids on the Block filmed part of the video for this hit at Coney Island.

Coney Island Baby

From the great Lou Reed's album of the same name.

Even the Nights Are Better

Air Supply filmed several scenes for their video for this hit soft rock song at Coney Island.

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Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too
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There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.

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