Sports, songs, and early homo sapiens

Recently we shared some research from Chorus America about why people say they attend choral concerts and their answers were pretty familiar to those of us who have been immersing ourselves in the Creating Connection findings

But beyond why people attend, is there evidence that actually singing in a choir is good for you?

New research from the journal Psychology of Music suggests there is. In fact, the research suggests it may be one of the most emotionally satisfying things you can do.

Why? Singing together creates strong bonds among choirsters and gives them the “emotionally satisfying experience of temporarily ‘disappearing’ into a meaningful, coherent body.” (Source)

Singing together also releases endorphins and encourages cooperative behavior, attributes that may even explain why our early ancestors created music together.

The researchers weren’t just looking at social bonding for performers, though. They also considered the impact of team sports on well-being, wondering whether it's simply the act of doing something together that affects our well-being. The verdict?

Sports are good too, but for different reasons.

In a choir, singers subconsciously mimic each other’s actions and can feel as though they're part of something greater than themselves. This “we" rather than "me" perspective doesn't happen quite the same way in sports, where there's more emphasis on individual performance. And that's okay too, especially if you crave a little more autonomy. 

In the end, this study offers even more evidence that expressing yourself creatively can have a positive impact on your well-being. Where these findings really sing, however, is for those looking for activities to strengthen their sense of social connection and inclusion. 

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