Researchers have found that singing in groups could have positive effects on reducing anxiety and depression. The research is from the University of East Anglia in the UK, in collaboration with a community singing group called Sing Your Heart Out. A research team conducted the study to examine how singing with other people affects mental health. Researchers followed a group of participants who attended free weekly singing workshops for six months. They discovered that singing in groups was an essential part in helping people recover from mental illness. In addition, it helped people feel valued, enhanced their mood and increased their confidence, social skills and feeling of well-being.
Lead researcher, Professor Tom Shakespeare, said: "We found that singing as part of a group contributes to people's recovery from mental health problems." He added that: "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." Professor Shakespeare explained: "We heard the participants calling the initiative a life saver and that it saved their sanity." He said: "The key thing for everyone was that the Sing Your Heart Out model induced fun and happiness."