Staff Writer | Jonah Minnihan
Picture this, you’ve had a tough week. It’s Friday night and you need to de-stress. You could take a bubble bath, a nap or do yoga. Those things will help; but, according to a new study, attending concerts or live events regularly can improve your overall well-being more than more common activities.
The 2017 study was conducted by Patrick Fagan, a professor of behavioral science at Goldsmith University and O2, a telecommunications provider in the UK. Generally, attending a concert or live event frequently bolsters mental health.
Researchers even narrowed it down to a precise frequency. They found that by attending a live event around every two weeks, people can add almost nine years to their lives.
“Our research showcases the profound impact gigs have on feelings of health, happiness and wellbeing – with fortnightly or regular attendance being the key,” said Fagan.
Not only is attending live shows regularly good for you, but it is actually more beneficial than some more well-known activities.
O2’s study looked at the psychometrics and heart rate of participants during activities such as walking a dog, doing yoga and attending a concert. They found that after 20 minutes of being at a concert, their overall well being increased by 21 percent, with some key features of this increase being a 25 percent increase in self-worth and closeness to others. Mental stimulation climbed by 75 percent, while yoga and dog walking only increased well being by 10 and seven percent.
Stephen Mahar, a junior business marketing major, relates to these findings.
When he attends concerts, Mahar said, “I feel at home in a sense, in a comfortable place of excitement and anticipation for every next song. After the show, it’s usually sort of a high … wanting to go to the same show the next night, and a desire for more music. But overall, post-show usually consists of an analysis of music and the great night had.”
This research is supported even further by a study conducted by Lucanne Magill Bailey in the medical journal “Music Therapy.”
The study observed 50 patients, ages 17 to 69, suffering from cancer. The patients completed a questionnaire about their emotional wellbeing before being randomly subjected to either pre-recorded music or live music. After listening to the live music, subjects reported significantly less anxiety and physical discomfort than the patients who experienced the pre-recorded music.
Sebastian Pacheco, a junior business management major, uses live music in a similar way.
“I like being in the crowd because of the anonymity of it; you can headbang and mosh and do what you want and no one cares. It’s a release for me in that I can kind of get out some aggression and relieve some stress,” Pacheco said. “For a while after the concert, I’m in a more chill mood.”
Most people will say that they enjoy attending their favorite band’s concerts. However, there is more to that enjoyment that meets the eye. Next time you’re feeling down, head over to your local concert venue for a revitalizing time.