The joys and justifications of singing

By Shailen Lakhani - Last update


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Musical purists might not be happy with the news, but an increasing number of experts are coming round to the view that we should all be singing. And not in a metaphorical sense either – I mean real, actual singing.

It seems that airing our lungs – whether on stage or in the shower – has an abundance of health benefits, all of which are supported by academic research by the University of Hamburg, and findings published in the US Journal of Behavioural Medicine and the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Research

So what, exactly, does the research tell us For one thing, it seems that researchers are unanimous in their approval of singing as a means of elevating our moods and improving our mental health. Singing has been proven to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. It has also been used to help people overcome speech disorders. By engaging the mind, which has to concentrate on reaching, sustaining and changing notes, singing can also enhance our powers of concentration and memory.

Likewise, the act of singing bestows several physical benefits: it can help improve posture, strengthen stomach muscles and tone up facial muscles.

Breathing assistance

The respiratory benefits of singing are a bit more contentious. On the one hand there is evidence to suggest that singing can help one’s breathing, lung capacity, and breathing regulation; on the other hand, there are counterarguments that more research needs to be conducted before such claims can be made. However, what is certain is that singing is a non-risk treatment. If it doesn’t ameliorate breathing problems, then at least it doesn’t worsen them, come with ridiculous costs or cause unwanted side effects (unless on the poor souls who have to put up with incessant cover versions of Rihanna or Adele – or poor wine glasses who have to put up with this). On top of this, the proven benefits of singing can be applied to warblers of all ages.

So don’t wait to do it in the rain, or when you’re winning – sing loud, sing proud and sing now!*

*While we do advocate loud and proud singing, we wouldn’t recommend doing so in inappropriate social situations, or after 10pm!

 


Shailen Lakhani

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