Singing Our Way to Health

Recently, I came across an article by Susy S, on singing and health.  It was interesting to have her confirm my long-held belief that singing lowers stress levels and elevates endorphins.  I have also believed singing is good for mental health. Susy’s article highlights that in North America, where the article focuses its attention, 32.5 million adults sing in choirs and 270,000 sing in amateur groups. That’s quite a powerful preventive health activity to be engaged in!

The participants in this wonderful communal ritual are feeling elation from endorphins or oxytocin released by singing.  Singers have been found to have lower cortisol indicating lower stress. And, study after study has found that singing relieves anxiety and contributes to the quality of life.

It turns out you don’t need to be a good singer to reap the rewards.  One study reports that group singing “can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the vocal sounds produced are of mediocre quality”.

Other physical benefits include:

  • strengthened immune system;
  • improving posture;
  • helping with sleep; and
  • a ‘workout’ for the respiratory system.

There are mental and emotional benefits as well, including:

  • natural anti-depressant by releasing endorphins;
  • lowering stress levels; and
  • improving mental alertness.

It may be surprising at first, but there are self-evident social benefits to gain as well.

  • Singing can widen your circle of friends.
  • Singing boosts your confidence.
  • Singing broadens your communication skills. For example, studies show that singing to babies helps them to prepare their brains for language.
  • Singing increases your ability to appreciate accomplished singers.

As the author of this fine article concludes “the delights of singing go beyond merely enjoying the beauty of your own vocal talent. All of these health benefits of singing may make you want to join a choir or start taking voice lessons right away!

I have been in choirs and singing groups all my life. The latest in my small community call ourselves The Minstrels!

Sing on everyone!

 

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