Belting out "Fa La La" has surprising health benefits.
If you needed another excuse to sing Christmas carols loudly this season, a recent study suggested crooning your favorite festive tunes is the key to a healthier life.
Per a recent November 2017 study evaluating self-reported data from more than 1,500 choir members, there was "confirmatory evidence to support choral singing as a means of improving wellbeing." In Perspectives in Public Health, study participants asserted that not only did singing spur a social connection with others, but belting out notes was also advantageous when it came to cognitive stimulation and mental health.
Of course, this study isn’t the first to cite that being a part of traveling carolers is a major health perk. In 2016, Prevention analyzed all the ways singing bolstered the immune system, eased stress, and improved breathing and the heart rate. Because we typically take bigger and slower breaths when singing, our heart rate decelerates and lung function can be slightly improved, as indicated in this 2014 review on music therapy as a form of treatment for asthma.
Research conducted by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease even showed that Christmas songs can be therapeutic, particularly for those suffering from early dementia or Alzheimer’s. Why? Well, singing familiar holiday classics allowed those in the early stages of dementia to access their working memory and mental orientation in the brain when they attempted to recall the lyrics.
WATCH: Two Songwriters Just Released a Powerful Christmas Song in Support of the Homeless
Although there’s more data to be collected on the subject, you should go ahead and lift every voice and sing this holiday season. Your mind, body, and heart will thank you for it.