Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Singing Is the 'Love Drug' to Help You Banish the Blues

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Singing Is the 'Love Drug' to Help You Banish the Blues

Article excerpt

THE natural high in the human voice has inspired a scientific study - into how arts can tackle loneliness.

Biologists believe singing releases 'feel-good' hormones of the kind triggered by chocolate.

Now, a team from Salford University has investigated a singing group - Eccles Daytime Choir - to see what effect their hobby has on their physical and mental health.

Over a 12-week project, members of the group described how they enjoyed sharing the love of singing with others and making new friends, described how singing lifts their mood and had even improved their memory by helping them remember words and tunes. Of the group, 40 per cent said their physical and mental well-being had improved over the study period.

Dr Gary Kerr, a biologist at the University of Salford, said: "We know that half a million older people in the UK can go for a week at a time without leaving their house or speaking to anyone - and this figure shocked me. So investment in choirs is vital because it provides our elderly, our lonely, our socially isolated people with something to look forward to each week.

"Choir singing has also been shown to provide spiritual upliftment to people recently bereaved, suffering from cancer, or caring for people with cancer - investment in choirs here will obviously lead to improved mental health for such people.

"With Greater Manchester It's quite the effect can actually high Choir leading the way as a national pilot area for the benefits of the arts in health and well-being, I think we are just realising how beneficial the arts are to our health and well-being."

Alison Peden, 56, joined the Eccles group in November to socialise and says the group has lifted her mood and improved her physical health.

She said: "It's a very fun thing to do and it's supposed to help your mood - it's certainly helped with mine - and it's something to do with my daughter or friends.

"It's really good to be able to do something with my friend."

Alison has a spinal cord tumour which means she is paraplegic and had to retire for medical reasons ten years ago. …

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