Getting together with others to share in song has many documented mental and physical health benefits.
Group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out.
It is the one thing in life where feeling better is pretty much guaranteed.
There are many benefits from singing: physically, emotionally and socially.
Results of a survey done in Finland showed that older adults who are members of a choir are less depressed and more satisfied with their health. Singing made participants feel refreshed, more pleasure, relaxed, relieved, and generally happier!
Looking for a fun way to get healthy? Just open your mouth! It turns out that singing has numerous health benefits. Some studies have shown that singing can even surpass the effects of yoga on your heart rate, breathing and general well-being. It has also been shown to be a helpful treatment for depression, anxiety and fatigue.
Choral groups may well offer the most therapeutic value out of all the many ways to sing. Numerous studies have documented this, including one from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which found that choral singing produced many of the same effects as yoga. Blending your voice with others — essentially becoming part of one large instrument — delivers both emotional and physical benefits. Source: 10 Ways to Reap the Health Benefits of Singing, by Susanna Rodell, Jun 26, 2014 www.livestrong.com
Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years and he says the health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. “Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.”
Regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, according to research done by leading vocal coach and singer Helen Astrid, from The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in London. “It’s a great way to keep in shape because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. It’s exactly the same when you eat a bar of chocolate. The good news with singing is that you don’t gain any calories!”
Singing even helps you live longer according to the findings of a joint Harvard and Yale study which showed that choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. The report concluded that this was because singing promoted both a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state. Another study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins in the saliva of choristers after performing a complex Beethoven masterwork.
Bjorn Vickhoff, who led a study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden into music and wellbeing, also believes that singing has positive effects on your health. The study showed how musical structure influenced the heart rate of choir members. “Singing is good for your health. Our research indicates that it may even be good for your heart. Further research in this field is much needed, such as the long term effect of choir singing.”
Not enough reasons for you? Ok, see you after rehearsal at the doughnut shop.