Singing just the Tonic for Hobart's stressed-out health workers

Hobart health workers are being encouraged to join a new choir to relieve stress and improve their own health and wellbeing.

The stress on Tasmania's health sector has been well-documented.

A choir, aptly named Tonic, has been formed for those at the coalface to experience the mental and physical benefits of singing in a group.

Hobart GP Sally Dunbar said people across the health sector were stressed and Tonic was an opportunity to prioritise their own wellbeing.

"For me, the time pressure is the stressful thing of general practice," she said.

Photo "It is physically and mentally refreshing and enjoyable," says Dr Dunbar.

GP Sally Dunbar ABC News: Rhiannon Shine

"Tonic for me is a place to go and de-stress and emotionally recharge, and it is something fun.

"It is physically and mentally refreshing and enjoyable."

Dr Dunbar said the choir, which started in August, was made up of people from across the sector.

"We've got people from the traditional health fields like doctors, nurses and physios, there are people from allied health and people from the so-called alternative health fields," she said.

More singers welcome

Photo Members of Tonic hope other health workers will join the choir and enjoy the benefits.

Tonic choir flyer Facebook: Tonic Singing Experience

Osteopath Richard Debarry said he always left choir practice feeling relaxed.

He wanted to encourage more male health professionals to join.

"As a form of health for men, I think it is a very good one," he said.

"Men carry a lot of tension but they don't necessarily have healthy options for expressing that, and this is one form that is very safe and healthy."

Pharmacy manager Katie Hayes said there was no pressure to commit to regular choir practice, which was a bonus for time-poor health workers.

"I really enjoy singing but haven't felt like there was anywhere to do that without a significant commitment," she said.

"One thing in particular [I enjoy] is getting myself out of my comfort zone. Improvising with noise and waving my arms around are not something I would do day-to-day — I have quite a rigid, structured job.

"So that has been interesting and challenging. It is enjoyable, fun and a really good stress-relief."

Tonic music leader Helen Todd said they were on the hunt for more singers to grow the choir.

"We want to encourage anyone at all that is involved in any aspect of health and wellbeing to come along," she said.

"Down the track … we would like to do some concerts and some fundraising."

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