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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 141 Real Calm > Sing for your health

Sing for your health

Since joining her office choir, Anita Chaudhuri hasn’t looked back. She investigates a new study by the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London, with Tenovus Cancer Care, about the healing power of singing in a group, and urges us all to have a go

real wellness

Sometimes a seemingly inconsequential decision can have a transformative impact on you. Five years ago, I signed up for my office choir, despite the fact that I hadn’t done any singing (except for the odd Adele number in the shower) since school. I’m still not sure what prompted me to do so. Perhaps it was the promise of wine and crisps, or the fact that I’d started working for a new company. Certainly, my life had fallen into a state of stasis both socially and career-wise and, although I’ve always been a passionate consumer of music, my Spotify playlist featured the same old mix of indie guitars and the odd torch song.

Group synthesis

At that first session, I felt sure everyone was staring at me when I haltingly cheeped out a few lines of Carol Of The Bells with the other altos. Was I singing too loudly, too quietly, completely out of tune? I soon realised that no one was paying me any attention at all, because everyone was too busy focusing on their own part.

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Psychologies June 2017 - Real Calm
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