Singing in a choir can be good for our psychological well-being. That is the conclusion of research being presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) in York by Nick Stewart from Oxford Brookes University.
Nick Stewart set up an online study asking 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone or were members of sports teams about their experience of these activities.
All three leisure activities yielded high levels of well-being, but Nick Stewart's analysis of the results revealed statistically significant, evidence of higher reported well-being in people who sang with a choir compared to those who sang alone.
Choral singers reported seeing their choirs as more coherent or 'meaningful' social groups than the sportsmen and women saw their sports teams.
Nick Stewart says: "Research has already suggested that joining a choir could be a cost-effective way to improve people's well-being. Yet we know surprisingly little about how the well-being effects of choral singing are brought about.
"These findings suggest that the experience of using your voice to make music may be enhanced when you feel part of a cohesive social group. Further research could look at how moving and breathing in synchrony with others might be responsible for creating a unique well-being effect."
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