Tune into religious music to relieve ‘death anxiety’

Ever wondered why old people are more inclined towards listening religious music? A study has found that listening to religious music promotes psychological well-being in later life.

Among older Christians, irrespective of sex, race and class, tuning in to religious music, especially gospel one, is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over their lives.

“Religion is an important socio-emotional resource that has been linked with desirable mental health outcomes among older US adults,” said Matt Bradshaw of Baylor University.

The analysis is based on 1,024 individuals who participated in the survey.

“Given that religious music is available to most individuals – even those with health problems or physical limitations that might preclude participating in more formal aspects of religious life – it might be a valuable resource for promoting mental health later in the life course,” the authors wrote.

The survey respondents were asked how often they listened to both religious music and gospel music on a scale ranging from “never” to “several times a day”.

The study looked at parameters like death anxiety, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control among the respondents, said the authors in an article that appeared in the journal The Gerontologist.

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