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Research Study: People Who Attend Religious Services Happier

A new research study from Yeshiva University in New York learned that people who go to religious services on a regular basis have a lower risk of depression and increased sense of optimism in their lives. The study, published in the Journal of Religion and Health, found that people attending services routinely are 56 percent more likely to view life in a positive light and 27 percent less likely to experience symptoms of depression.

“We looked at a number of psychological factors; optimism, depression, cynical hostility, and a number of subcategories and subscales involving social support and social strain. The link between religious activity and health is most evident in women, specifically older women,” said lead researcher Eliezer Schnall. “We looked at the religious practices of nearly 100,000 women and – like it or not – found a strong connection between going to church or synagogue or any other house of worship and a positive outlook on life.”

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