A growing body of research suggests that music can be a form of therapy—particularly singing with others—to improve your mental health.
But it’s okay if you’re not the next American Idol.
Music therapy treats symptoms of a variety of illnesses, including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, cancer and lung diseases like asthma, COPD and COVID-19, said Joanne V. Loewy, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
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It also benefits the pediatric population and the very young in neonatal care.
“Singing, in particular, is integrated to improve the well-being of children and young people suffering from frailty and/or depression,” Loewy also told Fox News Digital in an email.
Tenovus Cancer Care, a leading cancer charity in England, has created Sing with Us Choirs to bring people together in a fun way to ease anxiety, make new friends and lift spirits.
The idea came from a consistently positive response to a team building exercise where a staff choir was organised.
The group decided to start a singing choir for cancer patients; It would be a research study evaluating the benefits of singing. After the study received positive results, in 2011 they applied for funding to start more choirs.
The research examined how singing in a choir can improve well-being over time.
There are now choirs across the country, including a virtual one — according to the site, people from all over the world can join.
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They sing a wide range of contemporary music, including hits by famous musicians such as Queen, Elvis, Rihanna, The Beach Boys and Adele, the site added.
Singing improves the quality of life
Early research found that singing in choirs improved quality of life and reduced depression and anxiety.
Subsequent research, starting in 2016, examined how singing in a choir can improve well-being over time.
Researchers compared two choral groups in London to one non-singing group over a 24-week period.
The researchers found that the singers who cared for people with cancer showed a significant reduction in their anxiety levels — especially compared to the non-singing group.
They also found that singing really helped those who had low levels of well-being at the start of the study — a group the researchers felt needed the most help.
“I went home rejuvenated, strengthened and strengthened to face life.”
People who were grieving the recent loss of a loved one also had more consistent mental health compared to those who didn’t sing.
The non-singing group had increased levels of depression and fluctuating well-being over the course of the study.
Singing gives strength
“I often show up to rehearsals physically and emotionally exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed,” a member of the Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, told Fox News Digital.
“Then, two and a half hours later, I went home refreshed, invigorated and invigorated to face life.”
The Grammy- and Emmy-winning Tabernacle Choir is known around the world for its unique sound, including its many memorable performances such as the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, which were watched by billions of people worldwide.
“Just being around a large group of people who share my beliefs and motivations empowers me – and then I take it a step further and work.” together “Creating beautiful music as real instruments renews my spirit and adjusts my way of thinking,” the member also said.
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Earlier this year, the US surgeon general reminded people that finding healthy relationships as a “source of healing and well-being” can help fight the ongoing epidemic of loneliness in this country.
While music brings people together, it is also a form of therapy.
“Music is a largely untapped resource that can have powerful, positive effects on suffering patients,” said Dr. Martin Rubin to Fox News Digital.
He is the instructor for a popular wellness elective for medical students in Elk Grove, California, which also welcomes special visiting faculty members who share their unique perspective on what they do outside of medicine to stay healthy.
One of these experts is Dr. Schery Mitchell, a retired pediatrician who is now finding happiness in music; She also lives in Elk Grove.
“It’s fascinating to imagine that listening to music activates one side of the brain — but when you play an instrument or sing, the whole brain lights up,” she said.
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It used to be thought that music, along with other creative processes like art, was only processed in the ‘right’ part of our brain – but recent research has shown that music can be distributed throughout the brain.
Mitchell inspires students to appreciate the power of music with a famous quote from Plato.
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“Music is a moral law,” said the ancient Greek philosopher. “It gives soul to the universe, wings to the spirit, free rein to the imagination, and charm and happiness to life and everything,” he continued.
“It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful.”