Considered by many to be humankind’s first musical instrument, the drum is our pick for July’s Soother of the Month. This seems counterintuitive, given that drumming typically involves making a lot of loud noise, which seems more likely to spike one’s nerves. Actually, however, there is a good amount of scientific research that demonstrates how the act of keeping rhythm alleviates anxiety and depression.
In one 2016 study, dramatic reductions in anxiety and depression as well as increases in feelings of resilience resulted from just 10 weeks of group drumming (once per week for 90 minutes). As a bonus, these folks also experienced a total body anti-inflammatory response. Other research has shown similar findings.
We have written many times about the healing power of music, so the fact that drumming can be therapeutic makes sense—so much so that we decided to try it! Mags and I took a drumming class together (the “drums” were large exercise balls perched on small platforms so they wouldn’t roll away). Now you should know that Mags and I are not the most coordinated ladies on the dance floor (think of Elaine from Seinfeld), but it didn’t matter when it came to drum class. WE HAD A BLAST! By the end of the class, we were dripping with sweat (it’s a real workout) and laughing hysterically with the other women who had just as much fun as we did.
And—here’s the best part—all that ball-banging released so much energy we no longer felt that anxiety that always seems to be simmering, just below the surface.
Drumming for relaxation! Who knew?
If you would like to try group drumming, you can find “cardio drumming” at many gyms and even online. Click on the link below to see how much fun it is to beat your anxiety away…
Or, you can use real drums—bongos can be addictive!