Singing in groups can boost mental health, researchers say

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Singing in groups can boost your mental health, a new study has found.

Researchers observing a grassroots initiative that conducts weekly choral workshops have found that the act of singing and socializing together can benefit people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

After six months with the program, the team found that some people even claimed the activity ‘saved their sanity.’

Researchers observing a grassroots initiative that conducts weekly choral workshops have found that the act of singing and socializing together can benefit people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

Researchers observing a grassroots initiative that conducts weekly choral workshops have found that the act of singing and socializing together can benefit people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

Researchers observing a grassroots initiative that conducts weekly choral workshops have found that the act of singing and socializing together can benefit people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

WHAT THEY FOUND 

The study revealed the group activity had major benefits for those involved.

In the report, published to the journal Medical Humanities, the researchers argue that singing in a group in this type of format created a feeling of belonging and wellbeing.

And, the effect wasn’t fleeting.

According to the researchers, the feeling lasted a day or more, and even led to improved social skills and confidence.

As the meetings were regular, the researchers found the benefits carried over to day-to-day life.

The research, led by a team from the University of East Angila (UEA), worked with the Norfolk-based project Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO).

The initiative is geared toward people with mental health conditions, but is also open to the general public.

It has roughly 120 participants who attend four free workshops per week.

The researchers conducted interviews over the course of six months, speaking with participants, organizers, and workshop leaders.

Of the group, roughly two-thirds have had contact with mental health services.

The study revealed the group activity had major benefits for those involved.

‘We found that singing as part of a group contributes to people’s recovery from mental health problems,’ said Professor Tom Shakespeare, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

‘The main way that Sing Your Heart Out differs from a choir is that anyone can join in regardless of ability.

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

‘The format is also different to a therapy group because there’s no pressure for anyone to discuss their condition.’

The initiative is geared toward people with mental health conditions, but is also open to the general public. It has roughly 120 participants who attend four free workshops per week

The initiative is geared toward people with mental health conditions, but is also open to the general public. It has roughly 120 participants who attend four free workshops per week

The initiative is geared toward people with mental health conditions, but is also open to the general public. It has roughly 120 participants who attend four free workshops per week

In the report, published to the journal Medical Humanities, the researchers argue that singing in a group in this type of format created a feeling of belonging and wellbeing.

And, the effect wasn’t fleeting.

According to the researchers, the feeling lasted a day or more, and even led to improved social skills and confidence.

As the meetings were regular, the researchers found the benefits carried over to day-to-day life.

The researchers conducted interviews over the course of six months, speaking with participants, organizers, and workshop leaders. After six months with the program, the team found that some people even claimed the activity ¿saved their sanity¿

The researchers conducted interviews over the course of six months, speaking with participants, organizers, and workshop leaders. After six months with the program, the team found that some people even claimed the activity ¿saved their sanity¿

The researchers conducted interviews over the course of six months, speaking with participants, organizers, and workshop leaders. After six months with the program, the team found that some people even claimed the activity ‘saved their sanity’

‘We heard the participants calling the initiative a “life saver” and that it “saved their sanity,”’ said Prof Shakespeare.

‘Others said they simply wouldn’t be here without it, they wouldn’t have managed – so we quickly began to see the massive impact it was having.

‘All of the participants we spoke to reported positive effects on their mental health as a direct result of taking part in the singing workshops.

‘For some it represented one component of a wider programme of support. For others it stood out as key to their recovery or maintenance of health.

‘But the key thing for everyone was that the Sing Your Heart Out model induced fun and happiness.’ 

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