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Songs in the Key of Life: Belt It Out for Good Health

By Sara Butler

Sing for Your Health

We’ve all done it: Belted out a tune along with the radio in our car or while we’re sudsing up in the shower. It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune or not, people simply love to sing.

The good news for all you budding songbirds out there is that singing can actually be good for you, both physically and mentally. So, get those pipes ready and learn about why you should be singing for your life!

Singing: The Sweet Sounds of Benefits

There’s quite a bit of research out there to support the benefits to your body and mind when you sing. In fact, whether you sing alone or in groups you reap many benefits, including the following.

Stress relief - You can literally sing your stress away. Studies have found that the level of the stress hormone cortisol is lower in people after singing. Participants in studies also report feeling more relaxed after singing. As long as the conditions you’re singing under don’t make you feel anxious, it’s really good for your stress levels!

Gives a boost to immunity - There is some evidence that singing can also be good for your immune system. Studies have found that singing, when compared with merely listening to music, boosts levels of antibodies in your system that help to fight off infection. Simply listening to music didn’t have the same effect.

Increased lung function - It makes sense that all that deep breathing associated with singing and the use of muscles that support your respiratory system would help to increase your lung function! Studies have found that the breathing techniques often associated with singing benefit people who have conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Singing won’t cure lung conditions, but it can help. Plus, deep breathing helps to increase the amount of oxygen in your blood which leads to improved mood.

Social connection - When you sing with other people, then you build relationships with them -- and that’s good for everyone. Studies have found that people who sang in groups together felt more connected to one another and bonded, likely due to the oxytocin that’s released when you do an activity together. Oxytocin, in case you forgot, is also known as the love hormone that helps to bond people together and create feelings of inclusion.

Might help with snoring - If you or someone you love snores, then it may be time to take up singing. Studies have found that those who sing regularly snore less than the general population. While more research needs to be done, it’s an interesting hypothesis to try out for yourself!

Higher threshold for pain - If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, then you may want to start singing. That’s because the endorphins released during singing can help to change how your body perceives pain, making it more manageable.

How to Bring More Song Into Your Life

If you are intrigued and now want to work more singing into your day, there are some practical ways to do it! You can:

  • Take a drive and sing along to your favorite playlist
  • Take a shower and burst into song because bathroom acoustics are spectacular
  • Teach some songs to your kids and sing them together
  • Take some singing lessons if you want to take your crooning to the next level
  • Go to a music festival and sing along with a group of people who love the same things you do
  • Discover a karaoke bar
  • Go to YouTube and see what kind of info you can find for free singing lessons to give you a confidence boost when it comes to your vocals
  • Join a local music group such as a song circle or choir
  • Seek out music therapy in your area

The next time your favorite song comes on, sing it loud and proud. In no time at all, you’ll be walking on sunshine.

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