You may or may not have the voice of angel, but did you know that belting out the tunes – particularly in a group setting –is great for your health? A study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that singing in synch with others, as in a choir setting, creates a calming effect that can be as beneficial to our health as yoga.
The study, which looked at high school choir members, found that the regular, controlled, breathing required for singing helps individuals to relax and calmed their heart rate.
Singing in a choir or group has the added benefit of social connectedness, one of the four pillars of brain health. Senior citizens choirs, where musical ability is not required but enthusiasm is, have become increasingly popular. Well-known Young @ Heart Chorus, based in Massachusetts, has touredthe United States and internationally.
Look for singing groups in your area by doing an Internet search, checking with community centers, and connecting with local choral or music associations. Can’t find one? Start one of your own!