I've never found singing (the only kind of music I make) as cathartic although admittedly, I've never done anything original either. But without a doubt, going to band practices are the most fun I have in any given week and I look forward to it immensely. It can certainly lift my spirits during an otherwise unhappy time, although that might well have as much to do with drinking beers with people whose company I really enjoy as it does with the physical act of singing. But man oh man do I hate performing live. I have terrible stage fright and am extremely self-critical when it comes to my voice, so I'd say actually playing a gig gives me the opposite of comfort. It's been much less pronounced recently (which corresponds with a considerable lessening of my duties within the band) but I've have some seriously messed up reactions to playing shows in the past: terrible dreams, needing to pee pretty much constantly for the hours leading up to the show, being a complete fog where I forget to do things I normally do without thinking (like feed the cats or close the garage door), and most dramatically, getting nasty rashes. Strangely, I have none of these issues when it comes to karaoke (or even Gomeroke), which I love doing.