Why is Singing Good For You? | Health Benefits of Singing
Singing is good for you because it has a multitude of health benefits. It can help both your physical and mental health whilst also having social benefits.
Singing has many benefits for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. It releases chemicals that naturally combat symptoms and it helps you make friends with others. Even if you’re mental health is great, singing still has plenty of benefits.
Singing is especially good for children and can even be beneficial for pregnant women. Find out how all these benefits combine to make your life better.
10 benefits of singing
- Release brain chemicals that make you happy
- Improve your mental health
- Form new relationships quickly
- Develop a sense of community
- Learn languages more easily
- Help children develop quickly
- Burn calories
- Improve your lung health
- Make pregnancy less stressful
Is it healthy to sing?
Singing is good for you but it won’t instantly make you healthy by itself. This is because although singing can make you healthier, becoming healthy requires effort across multiple fronts. This includes looking after your mental wellbeing, having a good diet and getting regular physical exercise.
Why does it feel so good to sing?
Singing feels good because you feel it physically and emotionally. This response creates a positive feedback loop has a strong feel-good factor. Singing requires physical effort and this will force you to take in more breathes. That extra hit of oxygen helps circulate your blood and creates a positive reaction in your brain.
Why do I get emotional when I sing?
Feeling strong emotions when you sing is more likely due to certain associations you have with the songs you’re singing. You might get emotional when you listen to certain songs because they resonate with you or remind you of a certain feeling. You will experience these emotions again when you sing these songs because the melodies and lyrics will trigger the association in your brain.
It is good to try and avoid getting too emotional when you sing as this can negatively affect your ability to perform. However, singing with emotion is a powerful tool to have and can take you to the next level as a singer.
What happens to your brain when you sing?
Your brain operates differently when you’re singing compared to then you’re speaking. The brain is made up of left and right sides that perform different functions. Singing is believed to come from your right side of the brain, associated with music, emotion and melody. Speaking comes from your left side, associated with language.
However, tempo and rhythm are important parts of singing but come from the left side of the brain. This means that both sides of your brain interact while you sing and neither side of the brain can be seen as dominant.
A chemical reaction also happens in your brain when you sing. Singing can release endorphins and oxytocin and even listening to music can release dopamine. Singing with others can also release serotonin and these four chemicals are essentially responsible for happiness.
Does singing make you happy?
If singing releases endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin then it will naturally make you happier. However, it isn’t simply the act of singing that can make you happy.
Being able to sing can help you form great relationships and provide you with amazing experiences. For example, you might meet other musicians or performers who might become your closest friends. Combine this with the neurological reaction from singing, as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, and you’ll be on the right track to happiness.
Is singing good for your mental health?
Singing can be great for your mental health because of the chemical effect it has on the brain. The ability to easily socialise as a singer can also help you improve your mental health.
Does singing help depression?
Singing could help people with depression but it in itself is not a cure. As we’ve already mentioned, singing can produce a good chemical reaction in the brain. This could temporarily alleviate symptoms of depression.
The social aspects of singing can be one of the most positive ways to help depression. Meeting new people and forming new relationships can give you social support and make life a more enjoyable experience.
Can singing help anxiety?
The chemicals released while singing could help you with anxiety. Furthermore, research has shown that group singing can help both depression and anxiety. However, singing can often require performing in front of others, which could trigger anxiety. Try and find out your limits and know that there is a difference between singing with and singing for others.
Benefits of singing in a choir
We’ve covered a lot of benefits of singing, including social factors. It turns out that singing not only helps you form relationships but also helps form them more quickly. Choirs are a great way to capitalise on this because you can form relationships with fellow singers quickly and develop a sense of community.
What else does singing help you with?
Singing can make you happier but did you know it can help you physically too? Singing has many other benefits for people of all ages.
Does singing make you smarter?
Singing can make you smarter but that doesn’t mean it’s going to make you a science genius. The most effective way to use singing to improve your intelligence is through language. Languages can be hard to learn, especially later on in life. However, research has found that singing in another language can help you learn it much faster than those that don’t sing.
Benefits of singing in early childhood
The benefits of singing may be most prominent for children. Singing can help children develop their speech skills, including language skills, and also improve their social abilities. The feel-good effect of chemicals released by singing can also help reduce aggression amongst children.
Can singing burn calories?
Singing can burn calories and although it’s not quite the same as a 10km run, singing burns enough to take notice. Singing actually burns over 100 calories an hour and this can be much more if it’s combined with dancing. Have a look at our singing calorie counter, which also includes more information on how singing burns calories.
Does singing make you lose weight?
If singing can burn calories then it can help you lose weight. Of course, burning 100 calories for an hour of singing isn’t really going to help you shed a huge amount of weight. However, combine it with regular exercise and a good diet and you should be good to go!
Is singing good for asthma?
There haven’t been significant studies into whether singing helps control asthma. However, many asthma sufferers claim that singing has helped them. It is still early days but there are new studies that are beginning to look at the link between singing and respiratory health.
Is singing good for your lungs?
The reason singing is believed to be good for asthma is because it is good for your lungs. Those suffering from lung conditions can improve their quality of life through singing. This is mostly because of how important breathing is for singing. Singing requires breath control, which can regulate your breathing and increase your lung capacity.
Is singing good for your heart?
There haven’t been significant results from studies that singing directly improves your heart health. However, mental health sufferers are two to three times more likely to suffer from heart disease. Furthermore, your heart performs better when you aren’t anxious or stressed. Overall, if singing improves your mental health then it is going to have a positive effect on your heart.
Is singing good for pregnancy?
The first thing you should know if you’re pregnant is that singing can be more difficult. This is because of the natural increase in hormone levels that can affect your vocal cords. Essentially, your vocal cords are going to have a tougher time opening and moving, which will make singing more difficult.
However, singing can be good for pregnancy. It is known that a mother’s voice is good for a child developing in the womb. Singing will only make it easier for a baby to hear your voice and develop in a positive way.
Another way singing can help is through regulating stress. Pregnancy is without a doubt a stressful experience and your body can react negatively to this stress. Singing can help this by releasing chemicals in your brain that make you happy and by controlling your breathing.
Benefits of singing lessons
All of these benefits sound great but what if you can’t sing? The good news is that you can feel these benefits without having to sing well. None of the studies explicitly say that singing in tune is a factor and it’s simply the act of singing, regardless of whether it sounds good.
However, you may want to get some lessons to help you improve, especially if you’re singing daily. Singing will be much more enjoyable if you think you sound good or if you’re improving. Therefore, singing lessons are a great option to help you improve and get even more benefits out of singing.
Disadvantages of singing
Singing doesn’t come without its setbacks, especially if you’re singing for a career. Singing depends on your vocal cords, which can get damaged if you sing too much. This could mean that you end up missing work opportunities and there won’t be anything that you’ll be able to do about it.
Performing or singing as your main source of income has other downsides. Practise is essential and you need to do it regularly. You typically won’t be paid to practice, only to perform so this means that there a lot of hours put in without immediate return.
Depending on singing for a living can also be very stressful. The odds are that you won’t earn a great living for a while and many give up before they become self-sufficient. Many get told they aren’t good enough and this can turn something you love into a very mentally draining activity.
Why you should sing?
Don’t be put off by these disadvantages because the most important thing is to enjoy what you do. If you love singing then nothing should stop you from doing it. The health benefits are great and we definitely recommend looking for choirs or any other opportunity to sing with others.
However, turning singing into a career is a completely different matter. It is challenging but we have plenty of advice to help you do it. Have a look at how you can become a famous singer and see if you have what it takes.
Benefits of singing research
Most of the information in this article was taken from published research or respectable sources. Click on the links to get a more in-depth view of the research behind the benefits of singing.
What benefits do you get from singing? Tell us in the comments how you think singing is good for you.