Singing Can Change Your Brain – In a Good Way!
We all do it…
We aren’t all good at it…Singing.
We sing more than we think – in the shower, to our animals out of love, along to our favorite jams and even in karaoke where is doesn’t really count if you sound like Mariah Carey – just keep swaying side to side!
Some of us on the other hand are well equipped with a voice of the angels…
According to a recent Time article entitled Singing Changes Your Brain, those of you who used to be called geeks for singing in the choir reap the “most exhilarating and transformative” effect of all.
So thrilling is group singing that it is on the rise –
According to Chorus America, 32.5 million adults sing in choirs, up by almost 10 million over the past six years.
Many people think of church music when you bring up group singing, but there are over 270,000 choruses across the country and they include gospel groups to show choirs like the ones depicted in Glee to “strictly amateur groups like Choir! Choir! Choir! singing David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World.”
Singing has both a calming yet energizing effect on people. In fact, science has been on the hunt to find out why that is…
Turns out singing is kind of like a drug… the perfect one actually!
According to the article “the elation may come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing, which is associated with feelings of pleasure. Or it might be from oxytocin, another hormone released during singing, which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress.”
Oxytocin also enhances feelings of trust and bonding, which may explain why still more studies have found that singing lessens feelings of depression and loneliness…
The benefits of singing in countless studies all lead to one very important thing: Quality of Life….
Off tune singers rejoice! We don’t have to be good singers to reap the rewards “According to one 2005 study, group singing “can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.”
Okay so our dog and us howling out Dixie Chicks doesn’t have to be of epic quality… just mediocre.
Here’s what the article suggested to improve your quality of life immediately through singing:
If you want to find a singing group to join, ChoirPlace and ChoralNet are good places to begin, or more local sites like the New York Choral Consortium, which has links to the Vocal Area Network and other sites, or the Greater Boston Choral Consortium.
But if you can’t find one at any of these sites, you can always google “choir” or “choral society” and your city or town to find more. 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.
Even if you walked into rehearsal exhausted and depressed, by the end of the night you’ll walk out high as a kite on endorphins and good will.
Who would have thought there were so many benefits of singing!
Thanks to Time Magazine for the original post!