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Project/initiative|United Kingdom|National

ENO Breathe

Project title

ENO Breathe

Description of initiative

ENO Breathe is an award-winning breathing and well-being programme developed specifically for people recovering from COVID-19, who are still suffering from breathlessness and associated anxiety. Delivered by ENO in collaboration with Imperial College Healthcare teams entirely online, the programme focuses on breathing re-training through singing. The aim of ENO Breathe is to empower patients in the management of breathlessness and anxiety post COVID-19 infection, by equipping them with the tools they need for self-management.
ENO Breathe is not a choir or singing group. It is a social prescribing (non-clinical) intervention that uses singing techniques to aid recovery from COVID-19. No prior experience or interest in singing is required to take part in ENO Breathe. ENO Breathe offers participants:
- An initial one-to-one online conversation with ENO Breathe session leaders to discuss participants’ suitability for the programme, explain what the programme involves, and answer any questions you might have.
- Six weekly group online workshop sessions, led by a professional singer from the ENO encourage participants to take part in exercises and activities specifically designed to support breathing control, providing tools for self-management of breath and anxiety.
- Access to bespoke online digital resources, designed to support participants between sessions. These include exercises, song sheets and audio and video materials, especially recorded by the ENO for participants on the programme.
- Access to post-programme weekly drop-in sessions, if participants wish to revisit exercises and songs in a friendly and relaxed environment with other participants who have also completed the programme.
Lullabies will be used as a way into exercises throughout the six weeks on the programme. Lullabies are expressly designed to calm and soothe, and have the benefit of being short, memorable and accessible to all.
The programme is available in England.

Further information on the initiative

Themes: Culture and...

Individual well-being
Community well-being
Mental health
Physical health


breathing, health, well-being, singing, COVID-19, rehabilitation, anxiety

Target group

Adults | Youth

Cultural field



2020 - present

Sources of funding

ENO donors

Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt

As December 2022, 1939 participants, from across England, have completed or are currently taking part in the programme.
ENO Breathe is evaluated by an independent evaluator following an evaluation methodology co-designed with our colleagues at Imperial College. The methodology uses standardised healthcare metrics recognised by the NHS.
All Data below represents the first 60 groups – comprising 1084 participants - who completed the full ENO breathe programme between January 2021 and May 2022 and for which full analysis of evaluative data has been completed.
• 94% of participants said ENO Breathe met their expectations.
• 98% would definitely (90%) or maybe (8%) recommend ENO Breathe to others experiencing long COVID-19 symptoms.
Data collected around self-perceived improvement showed that 81% of participants said that their levels of breathlessness had improved by the end of the programme, with 87% of participants saying that ENO Breathe had a positive impact, on their levels of breathlessness.
Data collected around self-perceived improvement showed that 73% of participants said their levels of anxiety were much better, or a bit better at the end of the programme. 78% said that ENO Breathe had a positive impact on their levels of anxiety.
All participants completed a RAND-36 survey before and after the programme. On average, Improvements were seen in all indicators, with the largest improvements in levels of energy/fatigue.


English National Opera
United Kingdom
Public / State | Culture