Have you been singing for years? Or is it a secret desire that nobody knows about? Whether you already sing or if you've never even thought of it because you sound like treading on a Toad, you will be surprised to know that there are several studies proving that singing is much more beneficial for our health, both physical and mentally, than it was initially was believed. ¡Oh! And it doesn't matter how good you are.
Why you should start singing today
Because every single study concludes that the benefits brought by singing are there regardless of the quality of our singing.
According to a Harvard study: "The effects singing has on the body and the mind are always of high quality, regardless of if the produced sound is of good or worse than poor quality." In other words, Whether you're Bruno Mars or if when you sing it sounds like someone's pulling out your teeth, the simple act of singing benefits you greatly. But what are these amazing benefits of singing??
All the benefits of singing
1. It improves your posture. This is logical because to sing well, you must have good posture, with your back straight and a relaxed neck, but singing also strengthens the intercostal muscles, and the postural benefits persist beyond the singing session.
2. It improves your lung capacity. Slow, deep breaths, which are required to sing well, are a fantastic pulmonary exercise. Even better, breathing correctly and using the diaphragm to sing is considered an aerobic exercise. So when you sing you're also going to the gym!
3. It improves the quality of your sleep. And your partner's also!! A study has shown that the lung and vocal exercises required to sing improve sleep quality. Not just that, they also reduce snoring, so sharing a bed with you will be much more pleasant. So now you know, If when you sleep it sounds like the Amazon is being cut down with a power saw, singing may be the answer. Your partner is going to thank you!
4. It reduces stress levels. When we sing, especially if it's for longer than 20 minutes, then the amount of cortisol in our blood is reduced. Cortisol is known as the "stress hormone". In normal amounts it helps regulate many bodily functions, such as blood sugar control, metabolism, the immune system or even blood pressure, but in times of stress cortisol rises resulting in very harmful effects such as loss of muscle mass, increase in blood pressure, or low libido. Singing helps regulate these levels, so if you are stressed, start to sing!
5. It keeps your brain in good shape. Better blood circulation and better oxygenation make it easier to maintain a healthy brain and even generate new connections. It is so beneficial that the Alzheimer Society has officially introduced singing as a tool to maintain mental health and memory.
6. It improves your memory. When we sing our brain works in a different way to what it's used to and that helps create new neural connections, as well as strengthening the existing ones. As if that wasn't enough, if we sing in different languages we stimulate the brain with additional exercise. Therefore, even if you struggle to remember some lyrics or if when singing in English it sounds more like the "Las Ketchup" than like Adele, persistence is the key. Don't give up!
7. It is an antidepressant. It was already known that when we sing, the body releases endorphins and oxytocin which make us feel good and can be more powerful than opiates, but now they have discovered a small organ in the inner ear, the sacculus, which generates feelings of pleasure when we sing, and it does so regardless of if we sound well or terrible. To sum it all up, It doesn't matter how well you do it, the important thing is to sing.
8. It strengthens the immune system. Singing reduces stress and anxiety, reduces blood pressure, improves breathing, oxygenation and, as we have already seen, the quality of sleep.. It is therefore expected, then, that it helps you have a stronger immune system and therefore that the best way to fight the flu this winter seasong is to sign up for singing lessons. 😉
9. It improves empathy and social relations. All group activities help strengthen interpersonal bonds and relationships, but with singing this is multiplied. It has been proven that the benefits brought by singing increase if you sing in a group and that empathy between members of a choir is stronger than in other activities. It has even been observed that after a few minutes of singing together, our hearts are synchronized and beat at the same time as if they were one. Literally.
10. Singing helps you live longer. Yes, you read that correctly. Life expectancy of someone who sings on a regular basis, especially if they sing in a group, is higher than if they do not. The sum of all the benefits, physical, mental and emotional, combined with the improvement of your social life brought to you by singing in a group, increase your life expectancy, according to a combined study of Harvard and Yale universities.