This morning did not start well… Our very sweet dog, Sophie, slept in our bed and kept having nightmares that caused her to yelp – waking us up throughout the night. I woke up groggy and grumpy.
I had planned to go to the gym to lift weights, but it was raining, so I didn’t feel like it.
Instead, I opened up my laptop to make sure there wasn’t anything pressing waiting in any of my inboxes.
Trolls and Singing
I clicked the link and eagerly scrolled down to the comments. My face started burning when I read the first one. It was not very positive. In fact, it was rather trollish. Thankfully, another commenter had already stood up to the first commenter and that eased the blow a bit.
I scrolled through several positive comments and wrote some responses. Then another troll… Oh dear, I had misspelled “Hemingway.” The commenter indicated that “a ‘professional’ writer so careless about spelling (or proofreading) an author’s name inspires no confidence.” Ouch! I left a polite response and moved on to more positive comments.
But I couldn’t get that last trollish comment out of my head! I decided to go down to the basement for a run. By the time I was stretching, I had finally convinced myself that I was focusing on the wrong feedback. (Why do we do this?!)
However, not until I sat down at the piano and sang one of my most favorite songs in the world did my joy return. And that is the point of this post. The joy of singing can outweigh even the ugliest trolls and other bad things in our lives.
The Joy of Singing Together
Indeed, group singing has been shown to have all sorts of wellness benefits. I found a research paper from VicHealth that describes the benefits of group singing. Here is an excerpt from the executive summary:
The jury remains out on the most appropriate ways of capturing and measuring indicators of community wellbeing as potential outcomes of arts activities. However the weight of findings in the available evidence base does suggest that group singing is a powerful personal and social health promotion activity. Findings on the improved social as well as personal dimensions of mental health and wellbeing that are associated with singing in groups are strong and consistent. Numerous studies utilising different research designs and methodological approaches have reported the following benefits of singing in groups:
- increased self-confidence, empowerment, wellbeing and interpersonal skills
- a general lifting of the spirits and a sense of joy and accomplishment
- lowered feelings of social isolation, depression and anxiety
- increased social capital through participation in social, cultural and community activities
- denser social and friendship networks.
Wow! I knew I always felt better after choir practice, but I didn’t quite know why.
Tonight, I had two group singing experiences and they left me so joyful. Once you enter that space where it’s all about the music and singing together in harmony, all other concerns disappear. It’s quite magical.
Over to You!
- Have you experienced this “joy of singing” phenomenon?
- Do you think singing is underrated as a form of therapy for depression or anxiety?
- What other types of art do you engage in to improve your well-being?
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