Singing is good for your health

By Siski Green , Tuesday 4 September 2012

You may know intuitively that singing lifts your spirits but now science has proved it’s really so
Group of people singing at homeResearch shows that singing can reduce stress and anxiety

Researchers from the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Folkestone, Kent, and from the University of Kent, asked one sample group of 240 volunteers, all over 60, to do weekly singing sessions over a period of three months; another group of 240 did no sessions. Of the group who sang regularly, there was a significant improvement in mental health scores, according to tests, and they also showed reduced anxiety and depression. Overall quality of life, as defined by NICE (National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence), was also improved – so much so that singing in a group scenario was calculated to be a cost-effective form of health intervention.

The improvements in overall wellbeing could be a result of several factors: being in a social setting such as that in a community singing group may help foster a positive attitude, or encourage more activity via new friendships and thereby also provide emotional support. Regulating breathing patterns by singing may also help create a state of calm, reducing stress and anxiety. Hearing others sing as you sing may also have a beneficial effect. There may also be other brain-related mechanisms at work.

Crying out to be heard?

Some of the best places to find singing groups are churches but if you’re not religious, try one of the following:

Start your own group. Go here for help and advice:
www.makingmusic.org.uk

Join a choir. Go here to find one near you:
www.choirs.org.uk

or here:
www.nationalassociationofchoirs.org.uk

Attend a ‘come and sing’ event:
www.choirs.org.uk/comeandsing


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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  • Anne Douglas

    Posted: Thursday 13 September 2012

    I am a member of DISCORD, a fun singing group run by Michael Dann from Diss in Norfolk. ( But we are the Otley group in Suffolk) We can all bear witness to the benefits of singing. It raises your spirits and puts you on a high for the rest of the day. I have met new people and as well as singing we laugh a lot. Michael emphasises that we are not a choir, but I must say that we do learn a lot about music and notation along the way.
    There is a website!

    Anne Douglas

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