What Are the Health Benefits of Singing – More Reason to Flex Your Vocal Cords

Singing has been a pleasurable pastime for many and there’s a reason for it. Apart from getting entertained, with music being the universal language, I was thinking, there must be some other important aspects to singing that we do not usually explore that causes the sudden switch to a totally different mood for those that are involved in it.

Upon research, I found that singing has several health benefits. I came across a study by Professor Graham Welch in which he said that singing has both physical and psychological benefits.

Professor Graham Welch is the Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. He spent 30 years studying the health merits of singing

What are the health benefits of singing? Let’s take a look.

It Prevents You from Getting Sick – Singing Strengthens Your Immune SystemHealthy Heart 2

In a study done in the University of Frankfurt, several choir members had their blood tested before and after an hour-long of singing Mozart’s Requiem. In a majority of the cases, the immunoglobulin A levels of several participants increased. Sure, we don’t hear this word in our daily conversation, but if you look it up on Google, what an amazing truth for singers.

Immunoglobulin A is a type of antibody that fights off sickness. Also, called IgA, a deficiency in this antibody can lead to asthma and allergies. IgA is something that our body produces each day and makes up to 15% of all the types of immunoglobulins found in the human body.

It often measured to diagnose patients who have problems in the intestines, kidneys, and those who have auto-immune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus.

In the choir members, it was noted that the IgA levels increased right after the rehearsals. However, the same effect was not seen when the members merely listened to songs. Of course, we want to know more, further details about the study can be found here.

It Keeps You Happy – Sing to Fight Depression

Depression is taking its toll over many lives and it’s a very sad thing. A simple hum or tune in your head might be a temporary or even a permanent remedy if you allow it to be. The following is a more serious discussion, but if you’re in this dilemma, please keep reading.

The act of singing releases endorphins. These are also called happy hormones that give us a natural high. Endorphins are neuro-transmitters or chemicals that transmit signal from one neuron to the next. They come from different parts of the body and have several functions, one of which is to block pain.

Another function of the endorphin is to elevate our moods, and this is why we get pleasurable feelings when our bodies produce them. Usually, we get an endorphin rush when we exercise, have sex, or do things that we love doing.

Furthermore, since endorphin is a hormone, the hypothalamus is responsible for its production. The hypothalamus is the command center of the endocrine system. It tells the body when and when not to produce hormones. It also manages pain.

Studies show that there is a tiny part of our ears that respond to different frequencies as we sing. It is the sacculus. What it does is to respond with pleasure, even if you are tone-deaf. This is because the sacculus is connected to what is called a vestibular system, which is connected to our hypothalamus.

Since the hypothalamus is the area of the brain that processes our drives like sex and hunger, it listens to what the sacculus has to say.

Since the sacculus is sensitive to sound, it vibrates and sends a signal of pleasure to the hypothalamus, and the hypothalamus produces endorphins.

Whew! That was a bit heavy, right? But, think of what you’re getting out of singing your heart out and you’re not even aware of it. You’re wondering why something is taking your breath away while singing and even after the fact. That’s very cool.

I had those feelings myself even before I plan to do some singing, before going to a choir rehearsal, a karaoke singing, or when I’m thinking of rehearsing songs for a gig.  Just the thought of singing makes you sense those feelings, how much more when you actually do it. In fact, I have those right now while I write these words. It’s remarkable!

It Keeps Your Numbers Low – Sing to Reduce Blood PressureBlood Pressure Monitor

Yeah, I know. Even mine is occasionally a bit higher than I want to and pretty alarming at times. I better keep singing more consistently, I suppose.

Do you know that research shows that singing can reduce anxiety and stress? Both of which can cause elevated blood pressure.

Listen to this: In a recent report, a 76-year old woman went through severe hypertension in a hospital before her operation. When the drugs did not work, the woman asked if she could sing, to which the hospital staff agreed.

As a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, she sang in the choir. In the hospital, she started to sing choir songs, after which her blood pressure dropped dramatically. Before she sang, her blood pressure was at 240/120, but this reduced to 180/90 after singing.

Sure, I’d try that myself anytime, it’s very simple to do. In another post, I will let you know my results, or I’ll just come back and edit this article.

What happens when we sing is that the endorphins and the immune systems worked together to reduce the blood pressure. Since you are eliminating stress and anxiety by singing, you are also taking away two potential causes of hypertension. This is good news to those who sing often.

Start Singing Now – Get Healthier Sooner Than You Think

As these three studies show, there is a correlation between some aspects of our health and singing. And this correlation is positive in the sense that the activity produces hormones and results that are good for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Click here to start singing right away for your physical and psychological benefits.

What do you think of these discoveries? You can test it out for yourself and let me know what you find out. Please leave your comments or questions below and I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as I can.

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10 Comments:

  1. Richard,

    Loved the website.  As a fitness expert I can completely relate to the health benefits from singing.  Hearing a tremendous singer hit a big note, and hold it for a long time always reminds me of vigorous exercise – it’s no different than holding your breath or digging deep on a hill while running – you have to have the chops.

    You also touched on the fact that singing keeps you healthy and happy, I couldn’t agree more.  Music, in general, can lift the spirits, but when you sing along it tends to release endorphins and mood boosting chemicals.  Our entire family does this, even our dog (that’s another story).

    Best of luck on your singing career and congratulations on a very enlightening website!

    1. Hi Pete.  I like your analogy between singing and fitness.  They both require vigorous training if you want to have the chops. We all didn’t have it in the beginning, but the rigorous training makes it possible. I’ve made my choice a few months ago to go through body weight work out and I tell you it’s not so easy, but to get to an expert level, I gotta get my act together and discipline myself into the process.

      For recreational singers, there’s a lot of opportunities out there- in the shower, with a karaoke system at home, at a karaoke bar, community choir, there’s even an app called Smule now, where you collaborate and sing with others online. I haven’t used it myself but I heard it’s a lot of fun.

      Thank you for stopping by, Pete.  I hope to see you again here sometime.  Feel free to ask any questions, I’d be glad to help out.

  2. Well Richard,I am astounded to read the many health benefits of singing, I didn’t realize that singing actually releases endorphins “the happy vibes” and can you believe that it reduces blood pressure.I suppose that if you think about it singing makes you relax which can only be good for something like blood pressure.Everybody should sing (even though most don’t have a note in their head) especially me! I love to listen to good music especially rock n roll,pop and jazz, I actually like Nathan Carter even though his music is sort of country but he is entertaining. What type of music do you sing and like yourself?

    All the best 

    Fintan

    1. Hi Fintan.  I’m so glad I found the studies and experiments on the benefits of singing.  They prove what’s going behind the positive feelings when we sing, and that is very encouraging because we don’t only love doing it (well, some), but the health benefits? Icing on a cake. 

      Singing is not for everyone, but I’m sure you have a list of songs in your head that you can belt out in the shower.  Who knows, it can develop into something more serious if you do it often and long enough. 

      I looked up Nathan Carter on youtube.  I love his kind of singing.  It’s clean, singable, soothing, uplifting.  These days, there are some styles that can turn you to the opposite direction. 

      Me?  I was trained in classical voice, the kind the group Il Divo does, Here are some songs I recorded in the past. I sing contemporary pop music as well.

      Thank you for stopping by and I hope to hear back from you again. If you have any questions on singing in general, I’d be glad to help out.

  3. Like seriously; singing strengthens your immune system , how. Howcome we haven’t heard of this all this while, thanks for bringing this to our notice at this time.  I have to start exercising my vocal card by singing rightaway. Music has always been known to be food to the soul therefore it is no surprise that singing makes people happy.

    1. Hi Zuchii.  I almost had the same reaction when I found the science behind it, “seriously?”.  The truth is, we can’t deny those feelings we feel when we do it, can we?  Now we have the proof with the studies and experiments to back it up.  Yes, let’s all resolve to sing more often.  I’m guilty of not doing it as much as I want to for whatever reasons.  What I suggest is to get some of your buddies and do some karaoke at home or go out on Friday nights where there are Karaoke places close by.  I’m sure you won’t regret it, it’s a lot of fun.

      Hey, I appreciate you stopping by. Any other questions on singing, I’m here to help you out.

  4. Wow!!! What an amazing article I so have learn alot from this in which I had no idea or clue about, I love to sing and I do so on a daily basis with no idea of it’s benefits, reducing blood pressure, fights depression, and strengthen the immune system. I also learn a new word immunoglobulin A, your article was so interested and with what I’ve learned today am surely gonna sing much more, thank for sharing the wonderful info keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Jermy.  Isn’t it interesting that there are things we unconsciously do and come to find out the good things that it does to us? It was encouraging to me as well when I did this research because I do a lot of singing myself.  I have been singing for a long time and I tell you, singing is one of the quickest ways to change someone’s mood, character and state of being.  That’s only the tangible side to it.  The studies and experiments are the intangible proofs behind the tangibles. It’s a very reassuring truth.  

      I’m with you, let’s all sing as much as we can. Aside from its health benefits, it’s a very satisfying and enjoyable act anyway.

      Hey, thank you for stopping by.  If you have other questions about singing in general, I’d be glad to help out.

  5. What an eyeopener? 

    Music can help cure you. It can cure what medicines can not. I loved reading the science behind it. The blood pressure decrease experiment is a phenomenal illustration of what singing can do. 

    This current society and work environment are filled with stress and anxiety.  The medications are sometimes addictive and you become a slave of some of these medications. Singing seems to help cure these diseases.

    I knew singing helps and it can help us so many ways. I never knew the science behind it. It is priceless. I see it as an exercise with benefits you can never think of.

    It is an excellent post which will help the world. 

    1. I agree, Anusuya. In a perfect world, if we can only have something we call “World Choir” when everyone stops whatever they’re doing to sing something uplifting together over the internet, on their smartphones and computers, it will be a different world. Imagine doing it once a week, just like most choir rehearsals do, I’d say a “perfect world” is possible. But that is only make-believe, we have to make our own choices and make the effort to find ways to alleviate the stress and anxiety, and one of the ways is through singing. It’s the most inexpensive way to do it.

      Thank you for your input.  

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