If you have been feeling a bit stressed out, science recommends that you try going out to a concert to make you feel better.
Researchers from the Centre for Performance Science, a partnership between the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London, have recently discovered that the stress hormone cortisol is reduced when a person is exposed to a live music performance, reported The Telegraph.
Cortisol is produced by the body when under stress. While beneficial in small doses as it improves alertness and well-being, highly elevated levels of it may lead to complications such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and impotence.
The study tested the cortisol and cortisone levels in the saliva of 117 volunteers before and after seeing two live musical performances from composer Eric Whitacre.
The subjects were a mixed group composed of avid concert-goers, musicians and others who were not musically-inclined at all.
Results revealed that levels of the stress hormone were reduced across-the-board in the second samples.
Previous laboratory-based tests done by the same group also found reductions in cortisol levels. This is, however, the first time such results were achieved in a live setting.
“This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity,” said lead researcher Daisy Fancourt.
She also noted that the results were universal across all demographics: age, musical experience, and familiarity with the music being played.
Since the study was done at concerts with easy listening tunes, more research will be done to see if the results will be the same for other genres.