Sing for Your Health
By Sara Butler
Next time you’re in the shower, you shouldn’t hesitate to belt out a tune. That’s because singing actually has some pretty surprising health benefits. Don’t worry if you’re not Diana Ross or The Boss, you can still reap all these benefits from bursting out into song every once in a while.
Studies have shown that choir singers have positive mood changes associated with singing. They report feeling happier, less depressed, less anxious and a little more upbeat about what life throws their way.
Humans have been making music for a long time, and one of the reasons scientists think they have been is because shared emotional experiences keep people connected socially – and what could be a more emotional experience than singing a song as a group? That’s why bands tend to be made up of people who are really close friends. But it’s not just music that makes people feel this way, any creative activity such as writing or doing a craft can have the same bonding effect.
Singing is a physical activity. You have to take slow, deep breaths as you sing, and that reduces your heart rate. In fact, it has been found that the heart rates of choir members sync up during a performance, which is another aspect of the social bonding of singing too.
If you have asthma you may want to think about taking up singing. Some research has yielded early results that link improved lung function and singing, improving the symptoms of people with breathing issues such as asthma. There’s more research to be done on the topic, but the breaking out into song can’t hurt, right?
Help with Snoring
If you snore, singing may help. One study has compared non-singers and choir singers and found that choir singers have a lower severity in their snoring than non-singers. This is even after taking into consideration other snoring risk factors such as body mass index. The thought behind this finding is when the muscles in your airway are weak or soft they will vibrate, causing snoring at night. When they’re strengthened through singing they’re not as flappable. So, instead of getting mad at your partner for snoring, maybe you should suggest they join an adult choir instead!
There’s a lot more research to be done in this area, but who doesn’t like to roll down the windows, turn up their favorite song and just go for it? Next time you do, remember it’s for your health!