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Christmas Caroling and the Benefits to Mental Health

Could singing Christmas carols be the answer to growing mental health problems?

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‘Tis the season for Christmas caroling at the top of our lungs with loved ones. Before allowing anyone to ruin holiday spirits with judgments on your vocal abilities, scientists have evidence that group singing improves mental health.

According to a study out of the University of East Anglia in England, Christmas caroling could aid in lasting improvements to mental health. In the experiment, researchers followed 120 people in the Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO) project for six months. The group was founded as a means of community bonding, especially for those with disorders who may otherwise not have access to such outlets.

Participants attended free workshops each week and took part in evaluations with the scientists. What scholars found was that the singing improved psychological well-being and recovery.

Benefits of Group Singing

The study highlighted that SYHO reduced signs of anxiety and depression, with many calling the initiative a “lifesaver.”  All involved in the program showed improvements following their time in the group.

In an interview with Neuroscience News, lead researcher Tom Shakespeare detailed what he believes to be the main contributor to the results:

“There’s very little pressure because the participants are not rehearsing towards a performance. It’s very inclusive and it’s just for fun.”

Shakespeare adds that the SYHO format may be better than group therapy, as attendees don’t have to discuss their diseases with others. Instead, the program encourages socialization, teamwork, and support – not to mention the joy of singing favorite tunes.

Mental Health in America

These conclusions may be of great value to Americans. According to the National Institutes of Health, 17.9% of American adults experience a psychological ailment in a given year. The NIH calculates that over one in five children either currently or at some point in life suffer from a “seriously debilitating” mental condition. The most common among adults were anxiety syndromes, whereas for children it was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The social interactions and sense of teamwork provided by the SYHO project offers a positive means of coping with life challenges and provides a way to communicate with others in the community.

The results from East Anglia encourage all to indulge in Christmas caroling this holiday season. Perhaps doing so will aid in ending the mental health issues currently impacting millions in our beautiful country. Regardless of one’s vocal talent, LNGenZ wishes readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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