I’ve been going to more concerts recently and have had a great time along the way. I like these shows more now than when I was in my teens and early 20s. That’s because when I went back then, I was usually tagging along with friends to see a band or performer I didn’t have much interest in.
About five or six years ago, I went to see one of my personal favorites, Zac Brown Band, and a genuine love of concert-going immerged for me. I’m a huge fan of his music and know almost all of their songs, and that immersive experience opened my eyes. It’s terrific and irreplaceable to see someone whose music you really appreciate live and on-stage; it magnifies the experience 10-fold.
Recently, I heard news of a new study that found that, for regular concert attendees, these shows could help you live longer and improve your overall wellbeing.
This particular scientific study was commissioned by the O2 in London, a massive music and entertainment venue. Now, in my mind, the self-interested nature of the funding would caution a bit of skepticism. After all, the company’s press release is using the research to sell concert tickets.
But the research findings did, in fact, resonate with me.
This is because I get so much joy out of going to concerts. Not only are the evenings I spend at them remarkable, but I remember these happy experiences for years after.
“Regularly experiencing live music is the key to building a long-standing improvement to wellbeing,” said Patrick Fagan, an expert in behavioral science and lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.
According to the study, attending a concert for a mere 20 minutes “increased participants feelings of wellbeing by 21%.” What’s more is that other vital markers across the happiness spectrum increased, too. Both feelings of self-worth jumped and of closeness to others jumped 25%. Mental stimulation was perhaps the most remarkable data point – it climbed by an impressive 75%.
The research also found that music fans who attend concerts once every two weeks or more “were the most likely to score their happiness, contentment, productivity and self-esteem at the highest level.”
You may wonder where the longer lifespan comes into the picture. There is a well-known scientific link between overall wellbeing and lifespan. And, there is a slew of additional studies that show our overall happiness is linked to a longer life.
Concert-going seems like a perfect component of being a happy retiree. Is it one of your core pursuits, meaning, do you have a passion for seeing live music?
It doesn’t matter if it’s the symphony, a pop concert with your child or grandchild, a jazz festival or good old rock and roll show. It’s the act of getting out and hearing the music that appears to make the difference.
So, the next time your favorite act is in town, my advice is to not think twice about springing for the tickets. Not only will you enjoy the show, but your health may benefit from it also. And no doubt, you’ll remember the experience for years to come.