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Why Singing is Good for You

1. Singing makes you feel better

There’s an increasing amount of evidence that singing releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – the ‘happy’ chemicals that boost your mood and make you feel good about yourself. Scientists believe that’s one of the reasons why people report being on a high during choir sessions and continuing to feel positive, uplifted and motivated afterwards.

Singing also counts as an aerobic activity as it introduces more oxygen into the blood leading to better circulation – and a better mood.

2. Singing enhances lung function

We often take our lungs for granted, but most of us rarely use them to their full capacity. The way singing requires you to breathe makes you do just that, increasing your lung capacity as well as engaging the muscles around the ribcage.

That’s why singing has been used to help rehabilitate people recovering from lung conditions and to benefit people suffering from long Covid.

3. Singing helps you beat stress and relax

As well as benefitting our lungs, breathing properly and with more awareness is good for releasing anxiety and helping us transition to a state of rest and relaxation.

If you’ve had a bad day, give singing a go. We promise its stress-busting properties will help you forget your worries and simply be in the moment.

4. Singing helps improve memory

Singing can help improve mental alertness, memory and concentration as it involves focusing on multiple things at once, engaging many areas of the brain in the process. Music is also increasingly becoming a feature of dementia care, in part because it has proved a powerful tool in sparking memories often long after other forms of communication have diminished. A group of people living with dementia attended Melodic Memories sessions with Opera North to see if it made a difference.

5. Singing can help with pain relief

By supporting wellbeing and giving participants a healthy dose of joy, singing can be beneficial for people who experience pain. Dr Frances Cole who set up the Footsteps Festival for people living with persistent pain explains why they were keen for Opera North to offer step into singing sessions as part of the year-long celebration:

“Singing brings joy to people’s faces and lives. It helps them shift from yet another day ‘enduring pain’ to having joyful, fun times and feeling connected to others. We also find it helps with confidence, reconnecting people with themselves in positive, fruitful and compassionate ways, enabling them to live well.”

6. Singing features in wellbeing studies

Don’t just take our word for it! The University of Leeds is so convinced of the impact music can have that they offer a MA in Music and Wellbeing, exploring in more depth the relationship between engaging with music and the positive effects on health and happiness.

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