Have you seen the stories about the “study” on Christmas music circulating online?
The reports claim that the study (which actually doesn’t exist) says that Christmas music is bad for your health.
We’re here to tell you that Christmas music is actually good for your soul.
The reports start with a story published by UK-based Sky News on November 1, 2017. The story is titled, “Bah! Humbug! Why shops are already playing Christmas tunes.”
Towards the end of the story clinical psychologist Linda Blair comments on the effect Christmas music can have on retail workers. The embedded video shows Blair smiling as she states her seemingly lighthearted opinion that workers may have to “tune out” songs.
Days later, U.S. media outlets were jumping on the story with their own spin. CBS Philly reported, “Christmas Music Can Harm Your Mental Health, Psychologist Says.”
WHDH in Boston said, “Study: Listening to Christmas music is bad for your health.” No “study” was cited, but they do reference the psychological effect of Christmas music on retail workers so the story appears to have also been inspired by the Sky News report.
Some Scrooge-types have been quick to share these stories on social media without realizing the lack of actual support for the claims being made.
We reached out to a couple of psychologists to try to get to the bottom of it all.
Patricia Deldin, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Clinical Science Chair and Director of Clinical Training at The University of Michigan, says she doesn’t know how Christmas music affects people from a science perspective.
Lawrence Burns, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University, specializes in clinical psychology. Burns says he “can’t find anything conclusive” about how Christmas music affects people.
The reports being shared about Christmas music are based on the opinion of one psychologist. The psychologists we’ve talked to are using science as their guide and can’t conclude anything one way or another.
In our unscientific observations we’ve discovered that Christmas music leads people to:
Have an uncontrollable urge to sing
Festively decorate their homes and cubicles
Bake more cookies than they can possibly eat
Our official conclusion?
Christmas music is good for the soul.