Researchers have previously determined that religion is not only good for the soul, being involved in religious activity helps senior citizens live longer, and seniors who are involved in religion, prayer, and meditation say their lives are fuller and more meaningful.
Now, researchers at Baylor University say just listening to religious music is associated with a 'decrease in 'death anxiety' and increases in 'life satisfaction, self esteem and a sense of control,' 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
"There is pretty large literature that shows that religion is good for your mental health, so we're not rally that surprised about it," Dr. Matt Bradshaw, who was one of the researchers on the project, told 1200 WOAI news.
The impact is equal among seniors who consider themselves 'religious' and those who consider themselves 'not religious.
He says the data that listening to gospel music has positive influences on the mental and emotional health of senior citizens regardless of class, race or gender.
"These associations are similar for blacks and whites, women and men, and low and high socioeconomic status individuals," the report said.
Dr. Bradshaw said frequently of listening to religious music also helps.
"We found that senior citizens who listen to religious music more frequently have lower levels of anxiety and higher mental health outcomes," he said.
The report concludes: 'Religion is an important socio-emotional resource that has been linked with desirable mental health outcomes among older U.S. adults. This study shows that listening to religious music may promote psychological well-being in later life. Given that religious music is available to most individuals--even those with health problems or physical limitations that might preclude participation in more formal aspects of religious life--it might be a valuable resource for promoting mental health later in the life course.'