Many people view singing as either a hobby or a talent. You either do it for fun or you do it professionally. However, singing is actually a fantastic work-out and mood booster.
With the threat of the COVID-19 virus, we are expected to stay at home as much as possible. If we absolutely must go out of our homes, we are encouraged to practice social distancing while decked in protective gear. It is not only our physical health that is at risk during these times but also our mental health.
While singing cannot banish the threat of this deadly virus, it can certainly provide you with other health benefits as well as improve your mood and disposition.
Physical Health Benefits of Singing
Singing involves a lot of muscles. Many assume that when someone sings, they are only exercising their vocal muscles. This is not true at all. Singing includes other muscles, such as the diaphragm, which helps with your back and abdominal muscles. It also includes intercostal muscles found on your chest and your facial muscles.
However, the physical health benefits of singing do not end here. From improving your immune system and lowering your stress levels to improving your cognitive skills, here are some other health benefits of singing:
1. Singing lowers your blood pressure.
Several case studies(1) have proven that singing can lower blood pressure. This happens because singing acts as a relaxant that helps patients calm down. During their experiments, patients who sang hymns before having their blood pressure taken displayed lower results than those who did not.
2. Singing is known to help patients with Parkinson’s disease.
According to studies (2), singing improves the health of patients with Parkinson’s disease. It helps improve their vocal control as well as swallowing control. Additionally, there are even studies being conducted about music improving a Parkinson’s patient’s balance.
3. Singing helps boost your immune system.
Being a natural relaxant, singing lowers your stress levels. With your stress levels lower, you also have lower cortisol levels. The absence of stress and anxiety provides a positive effect on your immune system.
Additionally, there is a study from the University of Frankfurt (3) proving that singing helps boost the immune system.
According to the study, a choir who got their immune system tested after an hour-long practice of Mozart’s Requiem displayed an increase in Immunoglobulin. Immunoglobulin refers to the proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies.
4. Singing is a valid form of workout.
Not only does your vocal muscles get a workout, but your face muscles also get a good workout and helps to make you look more energetic and lively. Some even believe that it can improve your overall aerobic capacity and stamina. What is great about using singing as a workout is that it breaks the boundaries between abled and disabled people.
5. Singing helps improve your lung health.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a technique that is used in singing. Using this technique will help exercise the muscles on your back and abdomen while you sing. Additionally, your intercostal muscles–the muscles that help expand your chest when you breathe–also gets a great workout. Singing also helps with your blood circulation due to oxygen intake.
6. Singing helps with your posture.
By adopting the diaphragmatic breathing technique as you sing, you are also fixing your posture. A singer’s posture is exceptional as they need to stand correctly to maximize their breathing capacity. Continuously practicing to sing in this position will improve your natural posture in time.
7. Singing helps with sleep.
If you have sleep-related illnesses like snoring and sleep apnea, you know how nightmarish your sleep tends to be due to the symptoms. The worst part is that it does not only affect you but the people sleeping near you as well.
Research (4) says singing helps strengthen throat and palate muscles, which helps eliminate snoring as well as the symptoms of sleep apnea.
8. Singing increases your life expectancy.
A study from Harvard University (5) claims that the amount of health benefits from singing increases your life expectancy. Not only does it help boost your immune system and general physical health, but singing can also help boost your mental health.
9. Singing improves your cognitive function and memory.
Studies (6) have proven that singers and musicians have a higher IQ than people who are not involved with music. Singing improves your overall brain function, especially your cognitive functions and your memory.
As a singer, you often find yourself in a place where you need to memorize lyrics for a performance. Doing this over and over again helps exercise your brain and improves your memory even through old age.
It is just as important to keep your mental health well-taken care of as your body. After all, your brain is the command center!
Physical benefits are not the only health benefits that can be given to you by singing. To many people, the mental benefits provided by singing helps them achieve a more confident and positive lifestyle.
These past few weeks, we are faced with not just the physical challenge of this virus. We are also facing the mental challenge of spending time alone and away from the people we care about.
Singing can be a soothing balm during these trying times and here is why:
10. Singing releases endorphins and oxytocin.
Endorphins are the brain’s feel-good chemical. When you sing, your brain releases this chemical which in turn, makes you feel good and happy.
A study (7) also shows that scientists have recently discovered a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus. This organ responds to the frequencies and vibrations created by singing. It then sends signals to your brain to create a pleasured response. The best part? You do not even have to sound good while you sing.
Additionally, singing is a simple and fun hobby that takes your mind off of the troubles of the day and gives you a mood boost.
11. Singing increases empathy.
Scientifically, joining a chorale actually improves your empathy towards other people. This study (8) shows that by joining a choral and singing with the members, your heart rate begins to sync together much like the beat of the music.
Scientists who have brought awareness to this fact have observed great improvements in empathy between the members within the chorale group.
Additionally, members of the chorale group show an improved awareness even towards others who are not within their chorale group.
12. Singing brings people closer.
Sharing an experience with people (9), whether they are someone who has been in your life for a long time or a complete stranger, will always bring you closer together. Additionally, music is a language that everyone everywhere speaks. It does not matter what kind of dialect someone speaks, music has and will always be a uniting factor between cultures, ethnicities, and generations.
13. Singing can boost your confidence.
People who can sing have always been celebrated and praised by those who have the pleasure of listening to them. The validation that comes from this can certainly help break someone’s shell.
Receiving compliments from your friends, family and even strangers gives you a sense of accomplishment.
This certainly works even if you have stage fright. One day, you will notice that it is much easier for you to get on the stage and sing to an audience than it was before.
14. Singing helps improve your communication skills.
According to this article (10), singing to a baby helps prepare their brain for learning languages. The inability to help your child hone their language skills can cause speech problems in later years.
On the other hand, if you are someone who enjoys writing lyrics, then singing can also help you express yourself in different ways.
Not into writing lyrics? That is fine. It does not matter if you do not write lyrics and just prefer to listen to them deeply. The ability to take the message of the song, feel it, express it, and share it with others also helps with communication.
15. Singing helps you widen your friend group.
Being able to sing and showing it off allows you to meet new people who share the same passions as you.
A connection with people who genuinely have the same interests is much deeper than those whom you are simply forced to sit and interact with.
As we have said previously, singing is an experience. Sharing an experience with other people brings you closer. Therefore, singing helps create deeper more meaningful friendships that last a lifetime.
There you have it, 15 amazing health benefits of singing. Singing is definitely something you can do while still observing your health and the health of others around you. With all these physical health and mental health benefits, you can rest assured that no harm will come by singing.
Hopefully, these interesting facts can help you during this terrifying time that requires us to distance ourselves from each other socially.
If you know how to sing already, do not forget to keep practicing but remember to pace yourself and keep your vocal cords in top shape!
If you do not know how to sing yet, then this is the perfect time to learn! You can check out my ultimate guide on how to become a better singer! Additionally, if you are interested in taking lessons, you can do so without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home! We have a curated list of the best online singing lessons for you.
Always remember to stay safe and healthy!
- 1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/220738#1
- 2. https://archive.hs.iastate.edu/news/2015/01/26/parkinsons/
- 3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15669447/
- 4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265011#1
- 5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/In_Brief_Sing_along_for_health
- 6. https://www.medicaldaily.com/singing-or-playing-instrument-improves-brain-function-offsets-rich-kidpoor-kid-academic-297156
- 7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/645578.stm
- 9. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/four_ways_music_strengthens_social_bonds
- 10. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/may/08/singing-children-development-language-skills
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