The Good Daily

Why music for wellbeing rocks

When Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey songs start getting stuck in your head, you know it must be Christmas! For some, the relentless repetition of Christmas songs can be agonising, but there’s evidence that singing along to those Christmas classics is good for your wellbeing. 

Further research into the power of music has shown that people who participate in regular group singing experience improved levels of happiness and good health. So those festive carollers or Bublé wannabes are onto something great!

A new University of Brighton study recently showed that musical sessions combated loneliness, anxiety and depression, giving participants a sense of purpose and confidence. The singing programme set up by the Brighton team has shown such positive impacts for the elderly, that they are now urging local councils and policy makers to consider rolling out similar programmes and sessions for a wider collection of marginalised or at risk UK groups, such as prisoners or migrants.

The Brighton study also suggested pregnant women could benefit from structured singing sessions, with those who participated showing signs of lower stress, anxiety and depression.

The report also said “Relatively high levels of happiness and ‘worthwhileness’ were found in religious or spiritual contexts such as Gospel and South Asian music concerts, as well as among adults who play an instrument.” This ‘worthwhileness’ or ‘purpose’ is one of the contributing factors we identified as what makes a good day at work. This is because purpose and pride creates personal opportunities to experience positive emotion, helping maintain critical emotional energy stores.

Professor Cary Cooper has also previously discussed the impact of music, saying that it holds the power to manipulate our moods, allows us to seek solace and distract us from unpleasant thoughts or emotions. He suggests that if music can be appropriately introduced into an office environment, it may support productivity and performance, helping workers feel engaged. Dr Anneli Haake’s 2016 study into the power of music in the workplace, also supports the theory that music can improve moods, help people to relax and generally feel happier.

So, what are you waiting for? Crank up the office sound system, get that sing-along session going and enjoy the Jingle Bell Rock for a seasonal wellbeing session that’s sure to be a hit.

Do you feel better with music in your day? Or is it simply a distraction at work? Tell us your story on Twitter at @Gooddayatwork




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Cary CooperGood Day at Work®

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MD of Cary Cooper's business psychology firm, Robertson Cooper - for all things wellbeing, engagement and resilience at work.

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Professor Cary Cooper, Director and Founder of Robertson Cooper Ltd, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School.

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