The people who brought us Icelandic Christmas also have a very high rate of participation in community choirs. Even tiny rural communities in Iceland have at least one choir, and adults and children get together to sing every week.
Men’s choirs are the most popular, both in terms of participation and attending. Men’s choirs often sing outside in nature, the singers saying it connects them with the land. They also use singing as a place to bond with other men and regulate their emotions in healthy ways.
Singing can alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Some of the positive effects of singing could be related to how you have to breathe to sing aloud. The deep breathing techniques used in singing are similar to breathing done when you exercise or meditate, both of which reduce anxiety.
Singing together creates a sacred community, literally harmonizing your vibrations, as well as experiencing the mood-lifting benefits of singing together.
These Icelandic choirs really do seem to be enjoying themselves. Here is a group singing while bathing in a hot spring.
If you already sing or make music, perhaps you can join a group and reap the extra benefits of making music with others. If you want to but aren’t sure where to start, see if you can find some adult voice lessons or a choir that doesn’t require auditions.
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