And you don’t even have to stay the whole time; just 20 minutes of live music will do the trick.
The study was conducted by O2, a British concert venue and promoter, and Goldsmith’s University (London) Associate Lecturer Patrick Fagan, who specializes in behavioral science. The researchers found that those who attend gigs once a fortnight are most likely to score their “happiness, contentment, productivity and self-esteem at the highest level”.
The results showed that experiencing a gig for just 20 minutes can result in a 21% increase in feelings of well-being. Further research found a direct link between “high levels of well-being [and] a lifespan increase of nine years”, therefore suggesting that being exposed to live music could help you live longer.
While there may be some concern about the fact that O2, as a concert venue and promoter, has a clear bias for finding such results, and O2 even plugged its “Priority Tickets” program in the text of the study, I think most people would probably admit that going to a concert makes them feel better, and if feeling better helps you live longer, then yea, maybe there’s a link here.
But even if there’s not a connection between going to concerts and living longer, there’s another study that found that most folks who regularly attend concerts report feeling happier about their lives overall.
The study also specifically found that the communal aspect was the important part, as regularly listening to music alone did not cause the same effect on “social wellbeing”.
There was one troubling study, which I’ll just mention in passing since I found it hard to believe, that reported musicians live 25 years less than the average person. So while there may be tremendous benefits associated with going to a concert, those benefits do not seem to extend to the performers. Hmmmm….
So perhaps doctors need to start prescribing concerts to their patients. How great would it be if your health insurer paid for you to go to concerts?! I wonder if they would cover the parking too…