Study shows link between group singing and mental health

Monday, June 17, 2013

                                                                     fotographic1980

I’ve always loved to sing. I grew up in a musical family, where we were constantly performing for and with each other. There’s nothing I enjoy more than harmonizing with my siblings. There’s something special about singing in harmony with others—your personal responsibility to hold your own part, while acknowledging others and blending with their voices. It’s an awesome experience to produce a balanced oneness among different voices. It requires practice, patience, and motivation, but the end result is well worth it. I was involved with school choir groups growing up, which remain some of my fondest childhood memories. These experiences undoubtedly helped build my confidence and character from a young age.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to learn the results of a 2011 study out of Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. The study showed involvement in community singing groups, increased an individual’s social capital, mental health, and wellbeing. Social capital is a sociological concept, which values connections and experiences between individuals and communities. Study participants’ sense of safety and inclusion within their community was significantly higher than that of the general population. I can attest to the sense of belonging in a group that sings together. Everyone is working toward a common goal of harmony and each voice is important in order to successfully achieve this. Singing also regulates one’s breathing. Mindful deep breathing is a key tool to managing anxiety and singing requires deep breaths from the diaphragm in proper practice. Whether it is recognized or not, singing is a wonderful tool to manage stress and anxiety and increase overall mental health and wellbeing. Turn up your favorite album and belt out some tunes today! 

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