Did you know there are both physical and emotional benefits of singing? Singing can make you feel good and is good for your health. After the year we’ve all had, don’t we deserve to bring a bit more health and happiness into our lives?
By all accounts, 2020 was a very tough year, filled with chaos, stress and anxiety. Among many of the videos that went viral in 2020 were those of quarantined people in Italy singing on their balconies to boost morale. Amid the pandemic, families stood in front of windows to sing, creating a sense of community with their neighbors, while lifting each other’s moods. These Italians knew firsthand the benefits of singing and how it could bring joy during a time of stress. As we say goodbye to 2020 and ring in 2021, let’s resolve to focus on happiness and health in the new year. And one of the easiest ways to do that is through singing.
Singing Boosts your Mood and Your Immune System
One of the benefits of singing is to elevate your mood and decrease stress and anxiety. When you sing, your brain releases endorphins which directly affect mood. Endorphins are hormones that increase energy, alleviate pain and increase feelings of pleasure. Singing also releases muscle tension and decreases the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your bloodstream, leaving you less anxious and stressed. Together these hormones can temporarily alleviate feelings of depression. As a bonus, this greater feeling of relaxation may in turn lead to better sleep. And who couldn’t use a little more sleep?
Another one of the many benefits of singing is the effect it has on your immune system. Research has found that singing can help the immune system by increasing the level of antibodies called immunoglobulin A. These are antibodies the body uses to fight off infections. So do your body a favor and the next time you’re feeling stressed or under the weather, throw your head back and belt out your favorite Broadway tune.
Singing as a Workout
Sure, singing burns calories. Although at about 100 calories per hour depending on the amount of energy you use it’s not going to burn off as many calories as running or rock climbing. But you can bump up the calorie burn by adding in a few dance moves. When you sing, your lungs get a workout. You’ll increase your overall lung capacity while building a stronger diaphragm. And when you sing from your diaphragm, you’ll strengthen your back and abdominal muscles while improving your posture. Singing is one workout that’s fun, easy, and healthy.
The Benefits of Singing for Young and Old
Children have been shown to experience greater learning ability when incorporating singing into their curriculum. Research has shown that a ‘listen and repeat’ singing method can support foreign language learning, especially in young language students. This should come as no surprise as the curriculum in early language classes has often included teaching young students simple songs as a way of learning a language. For example, it’s common to see young French language students sing the song “Frère Jacques” to help them learn French. These catchy tunes enhance learning as the brain integrates music and language.
For seniors, the extra oxygen breathed in when singing helps with mental alertness, concentration, and memory. And the act of trying to remember the words to songs while singing sparks brain activity, reduces depression and enhances the quality of life for those afflicted with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and aphasia.
Sing to Stimulate your Vagus Nerve
Your vagus nerve runs from your brain, down your neck, through your chest, and stomach. Dysfunction in the vagus nerve can lead to multiple health problems. When you sing you stimulate your vagus nerve, which can provide many health benefits, including lowering resting heart rate, regulating inflammation, soothing headaches, elevating mood, and aiding digestion.
The Social Benefits of Singing
Along with all the physical health benefits of singing, there are also social benefits too. Singing with others in a group setting can be a way to get to know new friends. Individuals that sing in a choir or a group feel an enhanced sense of community. Singing creates a fun, bonding activity where you can share your love of singing with others.
For children, singing helps them develop communication and social skills. It increases their confidence, builds their self-esteem, and helps them forge new relationships.
Bring the Benefits of Singing to 2021
There is no doubt that singing has many physical and emotional health benefits. So, do yourself a favor and start your year off right by not just ringing in the new year but singing in the new year. Want to amp up your vocal range as part of your New Year’s resolutions? Consider taking voice lessons at Piano Forte Music School in 2021. Whether you’re a good singer or you can’t carry a tune outside the shower, if you want to experience all the physical and emotional benefits of singing, don’t hesitate to break out into song whenever the moment strikes. It may be just what the doctor ordered.