Singing in the shower may perk you up for the day, but if you really want to be happy, consider joining a choir. British researchers examined how singing affects our feelings of well-being by reviewing data gathered from an on-line survey of 375 people who sang in choirs, sang solo or belonged to a sports team. The investigators found that all three activities had a positive impact on mental well-being, but that singing in a choir topped singing alone, in or out of the shower. What’s more, the choir members felt even closer to their fellow singers than athletes felt about their teammates. The study didn’t delve into why, exactly, singing buoys us, but lead author Nick Stewart of Oxford Brookes University said that “further research could look at how moving and breathing in synchrony with others might be responsible for creating a unique well-being effect.” He also suggested that joining a choir “could be a cost-effective way to improve people’s well-being.” The survey results were presented on December 5, 2013 at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology.
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Hayley Dickson, “Choir Singing Boosts Your Mental Health", The Telegraph, December 4, 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10496056/Choir-singing-boosts-your-mental-health.html