Music festival season kicked off in earnest this month with the start of Coachella. If you’re a music lover, there’s a festival for everyone, from Bonnaroo to Stagecoach to Glastonbury, with heart-pumping shows from up-and-coming acts to big stars across many genres. And apparently, those coveted concert tickets offer more benefits than you previously thought.
According to a recent study, regularly attending concerts may add years to your life. The study was funded by Britain’s famed music and entertainment venue O2, which may make its findings seem a little suspect, but the research was led by Patrick Fagan, a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Based on his research, Fagan says attending live concerts twice a month can increase a person’s life expectancy by up to nine years. Almost a full decade!
But how could that even be possible?
It’s unclear how many people were tested in the study but O2 says researchers monitored the heart rates and self-reported feelings from people engaging in three activities: going to a concert, doing yoga, and walking a dog. All three activities are generally believed to improve wellbeing.
Apparently, seeing a live band may be more therapeutic than going to yoga class.
The researchers found that 20 minutes of live entertainment increased “feelings of wellbeing” by 21 percent. In contrast, practicing yoga for the same amount of time only increased the subjects’ feelings of wellbeing by 10 percent.
The mosh pit just might trump the “Om.”
“Our research showcases the profound impact gigs have on feelings of health, happiness and wellbeing — with fortnightly or regular attendance being the key,” Fagan said of the study in a press release. “Combining all of our findings with O2’s research, we arrive at a prescription of a gig a fortnight which could pave the way for almost a decade more years of life.”
By the way, a fortnight is two weeks in case you were wondering.
Since this particular study is being promoted by a concert venue, it’s easy to be skeptical of the findings because, of course O2 wants to promote more ticket sales. However, previous research supports a link between live music and wellbeing. Two years ago, researchers found that watching live music reduced a person’s levels of stress hormones, specifically cortisol.
This festival season, doctor’s orders may be to see more shows!