Singing Improves Our Mental Health – CÓRus.ie
It’s the same every year, so many of us overindulge in food and alcohol over the holiday period. It results in a lack of positivity, and a resigned sense that we must change our ways – with the majority of us looking at the fastest way to get healthy. However, with most New Year’s resolutions failing every year, perhaps in 2018 it’s time to be kind to ourselves and look at improving our mental health first.
Studies increasingly find evidence that singing is one of the quickest ways to improve both mood and general health; especially singing in a large group.
Mary Lowe O’Gorman and Yvonne McDonald, set up adult group singing classes: CÓRus.ie seven years ago and have found it to be a life-changing experience for both themselves and their members.
Classes are filled with enthusiastic singers from all walks of life and of all ages. And, even though their love of singing was the reason they joined, CÓRus members have reported improved mental and physical health, as an unexpected (but very welcome) side effect of their weekly classes.
“We profoundly believe that your health and wellbeing improves from singing; we’ve seen it happen!” says Mary Lowe O’Gorman.
The repertoire is based on contemporary hits and older classic hits, musicals and the list goes on. Pop, rock, country – all kinds of songs end up with a CÓRus twist.
A recent study from Oxford University looked at how people attending adult education classes grew closer over a seven-month period. The study found that people in singing groups bonded more quickly than in other classes, such as creative writing and art.
Other studies have found that singing improves cognition, lowers blood pressure, releases endorphins and oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) both of which decrease stress, pain and anxiety; and, a joint Yale and Harvard study found that singing regularly can increase life expectancy!
Starting the New Year with a mental-health enhancing pursuit like singing in a group can also make it more likely for you to look at taking care of your physical health too, with a balance that is restored – starting with happiness levels.
“Perhaps there’s even an evolutionary aspect to it, that we had to be in groups to survive and this is revisited happily every time humans sing together! We’re not a choir, we provide singing classes. People don’t have to audition or read music like a lot of choirs expect, that fact helps them relax about joining the classes in the first place. We’re based in 15 locations in the North and South of Dublin and w
e’re looking at expanding nationwide. We want to bring about a singing revolution in Ireland,” says Yvonne McDonald.
“Many of our class members were told they couldn’t sing or were never encouraged in school or at home to sing, so our lessons have helped to bring out confidence that they never knew they had. So many have now formed friendships, with busy social lives and holidays booked as a result of joining CÓRus! Our singers love performing at our big May concerts in the Helix,” adds Yvonne “It’s always a sell out!”
Visit www.corus.ie now to sign up for your free class!