Are you feeling sluggish, or noticing your voice isn’t always on top form? Perhaps it’s time you developed a plan to introduce good habits into your daily life.
Following a health routine for singers will help you sound better, ward off infections and have increased energy for performing. There are many things singers should do every day and many of them cost nothing, are quick, easy and beneficial for your body and mind too.
In this article, we’ll outline the methods and practises necessary to keep you on top form. So read on to find out how you can become an all-round healthier vocalist and reap the rewards of better living.
A health routine for singers
Being fit and healthy is vital for wellbeing in all walks of life. But in an industry that demands bundles of energy as well as physical and vocal stamina, health is particularly relevant. Image is also a consideration, and healthier people tend to look more radiant, something that’s sure to benefit the emerging artist. So how do you get great skin, a strong body and a resilient voice? A health routine for singers.
The daily routine of a singer
While a singer’s day to day life may not follow an exact pattern, you can implement your own healthy routine. This will benefit you not only as you climb the ladder in your career, but as you reach the dizzy heights of fame too. Singers who have healthy habits are far less likely to be lured into the kind of unhealthy existence that emerges along with excess partying. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. In fact, having fun and being content is a secret weapon in good health. And another piece of good news is that music itself is good for you and the act of singing makes you healthier.
What do singers do every day?
Not everything singers do on a daily basis will relate to health. There are some practical activities singers should be doing, including:
- Keeping up to date on the latest industry trends
- Listening to current and classic music to widen musical knowledge
- Posting on social media, including live videos, photos and blogs
- Filling in any spreadsheets or accounting software to keep track of work-related finances
- Learning or writing new songs
- Recording and performing
- Sourcing new gigs
- Uploading tracks to steaming sites and monitoring existing stats
- Networking with other musicians and A&R
11 Things singers should do every day
Let’s dive into the health-related things you should be doing on a daily basis as a singer.
#1 Practice vocal exercises for at least 10 minutes
Perhaps the most obvious inclusion on our list is vocal exercises. They are an unavoidable part of life as a singer. But it’s not just about getting better at singing. It’s about protecting your vocal health. Exercise makes your vocals stronger and more robust, meaning you’re less likely to suffer from nodules or strains. This will keep the ear nose and throat doctor away!
#2 Do a singing workout routine
Whether you’re a fan or not, as a singer, you should incorporate workouts into your daily life. This will help you ward off viruses and infections, strengthen you against any injuries that could put you out of action for some time and give you more energy. With so many options of pursuits to choose from (many of which are free), there’s really no excuse! Try to mix body conditioning with more aerobic activities. Here are some options to consider:
- Swimming (pool or sea)
If you’re stuck for ideas or are unable to leave home, YouTube has enough inspirational workouts to keep you going for many lifetimes! There’s no need for a gym subscription, special equipment or access to facilities, to get started. Madonna apparently works out for at least 30 minutes, six days a week, switching between yoga, pilates, hardcore cardio session and resistance training.
#3 Drink six to eight glasses of water
Everyone needs to drink six to eight glasses of water per day to maintain optimal health. But for vocalists, this is even more vital. Lack of hydration can lead to vocal damage and lightheadedness. And when you’re performing you have an increased need for water. Choose lukewarm water or warm herbal infusions where possible. Try to avoid carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks where possible. This will give you clearer skin,
#4 Eat vegetables and protein
It’s tricky to specify exactly what foods a balanced diet includes, as it will depend on you as an individual, taking into account any intolerances or dietary preferences. However, you should consume plenty of protein, healthy fats, fresh vegetables and leafy greens. Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and cut right back on sugar. Try to cook from scratch where possible as this will cut down on the processed ingredients found in preprepared dishes. A daily treat is also fine though! We have plenty of in-depth advice on this particular topic in our articles, including how to find an eating plan that works for you.
#5 Take some probiotics and prebiotics
We now know that gut health has much to do with our physical and mental wellbeing. Many of us have poor digestive health due to a mixture of genetics and diet. But with so much of our immune system depending on it, we must pay close attention to maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut. This will partly come from eating a healthy diet but can be augmented by eating and drinking some fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. There are some telltale signs you have poor gut health. If this is you, do add fermented foods or supplements to your daily routine.
#6 Make time for self-care
As laughter is good for you, stress is incredibly bad for you. It’s important to find a way to release the tension that comes with daily life. Performers can experience heightened levels of stress, as live gigs can be nerve-racking. Adrenaline will help you through and ensure you’re on high alert for a show, but too much of it can have a detrimental effect (remember that feeling when you just can’t relax and get to sleep after a gig?).
Combat this by being intentional in your relaxation. This means not just sitting and watching TV, but developing a practice to help you unwind. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation and sound baths can be useful tools in doing this, so try to build one or several of these into your weekly, if not daily, routine.
Demi Lovato said of self-care
“I believe it’s like a pyramid. There are three things that you need to feel great. There’s physical fitness, nutrition, and mental health.”
#7 Ensure you get some vocal rest
As a singer, you’ll spend each day singing. But you should also build in times of rest, every single day. Don’t practice or record from dawn till dusk, then spend all evening shouting with your mates at the pub. Give yourself periods of total vocal rest each day. You can combine this with one of the other activities on our list – use your workout time for vocal rest, or meditate in silence. Beyonce takes a day off after seven straight days of work with a dedicated day of two weeks off after two months of tours and even took a whole year off in 2010, which was followed by a hit album. Sometimes to move forward, you need to stay still for a while.
This may seem like a surprising entry to our list. But did you know that the act of smiling and laughing is actually incredibly good for you? You may have heard people say that laughter is the best medicine and that is because it is a wonderful stress reliever. It relaxes the muscles and releases feelgood chemicals. Surround yourself with fun and funny people and if you’ve had a bad day, stick on some Netflix comedy, or your favourite comedian’s podcast.
#9 Build on relationships with peers
Mental health is now recognised to be closely linked to physical health. Have you noticed how you catch more colds or experience aches and pains if you’re feeling stressed or down? One of the ways to keep your psychological health in tip-top condition is to build relationships with peers. In music, having supportive friendships with other musicians will help you navigate the specific challenges of the industry and keep you mentally afloat during the tough times. So drop that friend a quick message, or stop for a five-minute chat after your recording session. It only takes a little something to someone, each day.
#10 Speak a positive affirmation over yourself
Lady Gaga has formed a habit of waking up every morning and spending five minutes thinking compassionate toward herself. She uses the mantra “Love who you are, you are all that you got.” It might seem silly, but telling yourself positive things has an active effect on your mind body and actions. We are too quick to self-criticise and often our own biggest critic. Find your own mantra, or several of them and say them to yourself at least once a day – before bed or after waking up can be a good time. If you’re struggling to think of something, take a look at what some famous names have to say.
#11 Sleep for an average of six to nine hours per night
This is the time of day when your mind processes and your body repairs. For it to complete this activity properly, you need to spend time in REM sleep, the deep sleep phase that allows healing to take place. Lack of sleep saps your energy and can have negative mental effects. So don’t skip on your shut-eye. Late nights are part of the business, but try to catch up with naps and lie-ins. And if you struggle with insomnia, overhaul your sleep hygiene. On average we do well with somewhere between six and nine hours per night. Beyonce is a big fan of shut-eye: “Having peace, happiness and healthiness is my definition of beauty. And you can’t have any of that without sleep.”
Singers’ vocal health and overall wellbeing
Your voice and body have to last you a lifetime. And while both are incredibly resilient, they also have to be looked after, especially as you get older. There are additional ways you can take care of your vocal and general health, that, while not suitable for an everyday routine, are good to incorporate at appropriate regular intervals. These include steaming, going for massage treatments, having dental check-ups and eye exams. It could be that you have additional things you as an individual need to do to maintain your own wellbeing and create your bespoke health routine for singers.
- How do I take care of my singing vocal cords?
We recommend you follow the tips and routines laid out in this article, as it covers all aspects of vocal health. Hydration, periods of rest, avoiding strain, being gentle with your voice when sick and warming up are especially important when it comes to your vocal cords.
- How much do professional singers practice?
Many professionals vocalists sing almost all day every day. Some of that will be vocal workouts, learning new numbers, perfecting a track, recording an album, or singing while writing. A minimum daily expectation for a pro singer would be several hours a day with at least a day a week of vocal rest.
- Can everyone have a good singing voice?
While some people are naturally good singers, everyone can sing to a degree. With practice, you can become pretty decent at it too. And it’s hard to say whether you’ve developed a ‘good’ singing voice, as one person’s version of what constitutes ‘good’ will not be the same as another’s.
Have you developed your own health routine for singers? What things do you do every day to improve your vocals and increase your physical wellbeing? Let us know in the comments below.