‘Tis the season for Christmas caroling with loved ones. According to a study out of the University of East Anglia in England, Christmas caroling can improve 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. 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. Instead, the program encourages socialization, teamwork, and support – not to mention the joy of singing favorite tunes.
Mental Health in America
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. For children it was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The social interactions and sense of teamwork provided by the SYHO project offer 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 everyone to try Christmas caroling this holiday season. Regardless of one’s vocal talent, LNGenZ wishes readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.