Singing is the best way to bond
Singing together is the key to bonding with others, claim scientists.
Even if you can't hold a tune to save your life, it could be worth looking into local choir groups or an evening karaoke session with colleagues. Because researches from Oxford University believe it's the best way to help people become close.
In order to prove their theory, researchers asked people studying singing, creative writing and crafts at night school how well they got on with their classmates. While after a seven-month period they were all equally friendly, the results showed that those who took up singing bonded the quickest.
"We had expected the singing classes to feel closer to each other than the other classes at the end of the seven months. However, we found something different," researcher Eiluned Pearce explained.
"The difference between the singers and the non-singers appeared right at the start of the study."
The study, published in the Royal Society journal Open Science, even concludes this could be why singing and chanting is often a vital part of religion. The science showed flexing the vocal cords was the best way to help people feel comfortable around one another.
"Singing broke the ice better than the other activities, getting the group together faster by giving a boost to how close classmates felt towards each other right at the start of the course," she continued. "In the longer term, it appears that all group activities bring people together similar amounts.
"In non-singing classes ties strengthened as people talked to each other either during lessons or during breaks. But this is the first clear evidence that singing is a powerful means of bonding a whole group simultaneously."
Previous studies have shown singing in a group could be such a boost because breathing in synchrony triggers feel-good chemicals in the brain. It's even thought to help with strengthening the immune system and improving Alzheimer's symptoms.