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New study says a musical instrument boosts mental health in 89% of adults

A new scientific study commissioned by Spotify has revealed that playing a musical instrument positively impacts mental health for 89% of adults, especially in terms of feelings of happiness and relaxation.

The study was conducted as part of Niall Breslin’s podcast Where Is My Mind?, which looks at the intersection of music and mental health. In the most recent episode “The Lockdown Ukulele Rockdown,” Breslin bought more than 400 ukuleles and gave them to people looking to improve their mental health.

Each person who received a ukulele was taught to play Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home,” and eventually all of the recipients took part in a collective cover of the track.

The episode was intended to explore how learning an instrument impacts a person’s mood, and a larger study on the subject was commissioned with a broader pool. Those results also came back positively, revealing that 89% of UK adults that regularly play a musical instrument feel positive affects on their mental health.

Of that 89%, 56% felt relaxed, 48% felt satisfaction, and 43% felt peaceful. More than a third of the participants said that playing music gave them “a sense of purpose in life.”

On top of that, 75% of British people said that they play a musical instrument to unwind or destress.

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