Huffington Post – Posted: 04/28/2013 8:53 am EDT
Whether it’s an a cappella group or the church chorale, a small new study shows that singing in a choir could do a lot for your state of mind.
The findings, published in the journal Psychology of Music and conducted by researchers at Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey, show that singing in a choir is associated with decreased levels of anxiety.
The study included 35 people who were assigned to either one hour of choir singing, or one hour of “unstructured time” (the control group). Researchers analyzed their positive and negative affect, as well as their levels of anxiety and salivary amylase (amylase is an enzyme that is often used as a marker for inflammation).
Researchers found that the participants assigned to sing in the choir had decreases in their negative affect and anxiety, compared with the control group. Meanwhile, the control group experienced more anxiety and negative affect before and after the hour period.
The benefits of joining a choir could go beyond mental health, too. Norwegian researchers previously reported that participation in a choir is linked with better health and workplace engagement, ScienceNordic reported.
“The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological,” Graham Welch, chair of music education at the Institute of Education at the University of London, said in a Heart Research UK statement. The benefits of singing range from the physical — because it boosts oxygen levels in the blood — to the psychological — because it lowers stress and boosts feelings of community, he said.
For more wonderful health benefits of music, click through the slideshow:
11 Health Benefits Of Music