Learning to play an instrument later in life can improve your mental and physical health, says a new study. After older adults spent 10 weeks taking music lessons, their well-being scores on a mental health exam increased by an average of 7%.
The new musicians also spent more time breaking a sweat and meeting with friends or acquaintances. Research has found that general learning boosts happiness and energy levels later in adulthood.
Picking up an instrument not only ups your short-term sense of pleasure, but also bolsters longer-term feelings of personal satisfaction and progress as you get the hang of it—things that tend to wane as you age, the researchers say.