Sing with Others

By Josey Murray
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
December 12, 2023

Philosopher and psychologist William James was onto something when he said, “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.” Singing, especially with a group, is a unique form of self-care.

In a 2016 study, around 200 individuals affected by cancer (current caregivers, bereaved caregivers, and patients) took part in an hourlong choir rehearsal. Participants reported an increase in positive mood and a decrease in negative mood, and they were found to have a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.

And for those who were more stressed, anxious, and depressed at the start, stress and mood improved the most. Don’t be shy; get out there and enjoy the music by inviting friends to a karaoke night or joining a local choir.