What We've Learned

Through SingWell research projects, we found that group singing had an overall positive effect on social and psychological wellbeing. Continued participation in choir resulted in cumulative benefits. Private singing yielded some benefits, but the best outcomes were achieved by singing in a group.

Findings

Social Connectedness

Group singing had a powerful, immediate effect on social connectedness, leading to efficient bonding within large groups. This effect continued to accumulate over two months of participation in choir and beyond.

Findings

Mood

Overall, group singing led to a positive shift on self-reported mood. This effect became particularly noticeable after two months of group singing.

Bar graph showing changes in mood
Findings

Pain Threshold

Group singing elicited a positive effect on pain threshold. This effect was also accrued over long-term participation in choir. Groups that had been singing together for a long time demonstrated overall higher levels of pain thresholds. Individual singing did not have a positive effect on pressure threshold, suggesting this outcome is likely a result of the social bonding that was generated through group singing.

Findings

Bonding

Saliva samples from choir participants contained oxytocin — the bonding hormone. So far, we are finding that only group singing increases levels of oxytocin. We did not find this effect in private singing.

Bar graph showing changes in oxytocin levels
Findings

Stress

Saliva samples from choir participants showed a reduction in cortisol — the stress hormone. This suggests that singing in general may reduce stress.

Bar graph showing changes in cortisol levels
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