Christmas time is here, and one time-honored tradition is singing Christmas songs together. According to a study by England’s University of East Anglia, Christmas caroling isn’t just fun, it’s good for you.
Researchers followed 120 people in the Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO) project for six months. Participants attended free workshops each week and took part in evaluations with the scientists. They discovered that singing had improved the mental health of the singers and sped up recovery for those who were suffering.
Benefits of Group Singing
The study highlighted that SYHO reduced signs of anxiety and depression. Many called the project a “lifesaver.” Everyone who took part showed improvements in their mental health afterward.
In an interview with Neuroscience News, lead researcher Tom Shakespeare explained 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 since attendees don’t have to discuss their diseases with others. It does make sense that spending time with others, working together, and singing loved songs would make people feel better!
Mental Health in America
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 17.9% of American adults experience a psychological illness each year. The NIH says that over one in five children suffer from a “seriously debilitating” mental condition. The most common issue for adults were anxiety syndromes. For children it was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The social interactions and sense of teamwork provided by the SYHO project offer a positive way of coping with life challenges and provides a way to communicate with others in the community.
The results from East Anglia encourage everyone to try Christmas caroling this holiday season. Regardless of one’s vocal talent, LNGenZ wishes readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.