9 Reasons Why Singing is Great for Your Health
We often choose to eat right, go to the gym, and get a good night’s sleep – but what about our vocal health? Using your voice is a natural function of your body, so why do we spend so much time on our health without focusing on our voices? Ultimately, singing is GREAT for your overall health in so many ways that I’ll have to whittle this list down to 9 points from innumerous benefits that singing is known for.
Don’t want to be a superstar? That’s fine! Working on your voice will improve your overall health and give you the greatest sense of satisfaction known to man – self-improvement. Let’s look at my favourite 9 reasons why singing is GREAT for your health!
#1 – Your breathing and posture will improve
Let’s face it, being able to breathe is kind of important to life, in general. By developing your singing voice and even just working on the basics of singing foundation like posture and breathing, you will improve so many other aspects of your health, most notably your breathing. Singing requires a special kind of breathing which often differs to the way we breathe and can aid in oxygen delivery and improve the health and efficiency of our respiratory system. Developing diaphragmatic breathing is also a huge posture booster as it requires a specific set up for efficiently controlled inhale and exhalation. Number one is a big one with posture and breathing having such an effect on various aspects of our health and wellbeing.
#2 – You will keep your mind sharp
Singing itself is actually a fairly easy process in theory, but can often be a difficult learning curve for many singers due to the level of coordination required, not to mention the psychological element of becoming a great singer. Education in any form will keep your mind sharp and improve your concentration and ability to solve problems – after all, singing is often an act of problem-solving rather than a specific set of steps you need to take.
#3 – Your organs resonate when healthy
They actually resonate when they’re unhealthy too, but often at a lower frequency. It’s been proven that each organ has a healthy frequency with which it resonates at, and when you’re unwell, this frequency becomes disrupted and low. Coincidentally (or not!), your voice is capable of creating a whole range of frequencies which correspond with the tuning of your organs – I know we’re getting a little pseudo-science here, but this is a similar theory to why cats are attracted to certain frequencies or people who are ill. Remember, it’s not fully understood how and why a cat is able to purr the way they do, perhaps the function of our voices goes much deeper than physical enjoyment and self-expression?
#4 – Singing can improve your heart rate
In part due to the controlled nature in which you breathe when you sing, singing can help moderate your heart rate, and Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden recently found that singing in a group can actually result in synchronised heartbeats between choir members. Freaky stuff, right?
#5 – Singing brings people together
Sure, there’s the odd jerk on YouTube who has never sung in an actual band before but supposedly “has a 9 Octave range”, but in general singing brings people together in many ways and brings out the best in many people. I’ve never found this more true than as a voice coach, with countless students I now consider friends from all around the globe, and who now communicate and chat with each other too about their voices while sharing their gifts and progress with other singers and friends they likely wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for the simple act of learning how to sing.
#6 – Singing is a workout
It’s been shown that the coordination, control and variable heart-rate required in great singing can help burn a significant amount of calories and is sometimes considered more of a sport than an art due to the physicality required to be a professional singer. There are also parallels between the manner in which you breathe for singing and that which you use for Yoga – think about that next time when you’re grunting away in the downward dog, wouldn’t you rather be singing?
#7 – Singing eases depression
Well, to a point. Singing is known to release endorphins, which is why it is just so damn FUN to get up and make a fool of yourself at Karaoke, even if you think you suck. If you’re depressed, not only will this release of natural endorphins work like a drug-free anti-depressant, it will also give you a focus, purpose and goals to work towards.
#8 – Singing boosts confidence
Say what now? You heard me. As a quiet sort of fellow myself, learning to sing has given me a healthy sense of confidence, not just when it comes to singing. There is something now that I excel at, and it is something I have worked very hard towards for many years, and my voice is something I know inside and out – it was originally a catch-22 situation where learning to sing required confidence, and having confidence depended on my ability to sing well consistently, but now the two go hand in hand and I am confident because I can sing well, and I can sing well because of my confidence.
This one is especially powerful for me. The first time I put up a YouTube video illustrating a singing tip, I immediately shut down my YouTube channel and huddled into a ball for a month (a slight exaggeration), but over time this circular sense of confidence has spread into many other aspects of my life from business, education and even social situations – all because of singing.
#9 – Awareness, concentration, and memory
Singing is spectacular for awareness and concentration and has been shown to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which ultimately allows you to maintain goal-directed attention while you are bombarded with ever-changing sensory information. In English, singers engage a specific part of their brains which allow them to sing well and control their voices even in a stadium situation with thousands of eyes trained on them (I hear even while water bottles are being thrown at them). I’m definitely not a science guy, but I’m fairly sure that makes singers smarter than everyone else, right?
If you’d like to experience some of these health benefits from singing, a great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio – and then when you’re ready to take things up a notch with professional singing lessons, you can book a Skype Session and I’ll show you how to build your range while developing control and consistency while you sing!
Do you have any other health benefits from singing you’d like to add? Feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!