If you're feeling stressed at work or generally unhappy, you may want to consider turning to tango.
A new study by Australian researchers and published in the journal Music and Medicine found that after just a few weeks of tango classes, participants' "satisfaction with life and self-efficacy significantly increased."
The researchers at the University of New England and Australian National University studied 41 people with say they suffered from stress, anxiety and depression. The group spanned from ages 18 to 73 and was 80 percent female.
About half of that group (20) was enrolled in eight 90-minute tango classes during a two-week period while the other participants were put on a waiting list. The dance required synchronization, improvisation and a "strong connection" with a partner. After taking the classes, most participants reported less stress, anxiety or depression. The effects of the dance classes were still evident when these participants were surveyed a month after finishing their tango lessons.
The symptoms for those who were wait-listed, however, stayed the same or got worse.
The authors wrote that the results of their study "indicated that this activity helped the participants to focus on the present moment and mentally switch off from their feelings of stress and distress."
Interestingly, these are not the only health benefits that tango can offer. Parkinson's patients have been found to benefit from the dance as well.