Numerous research studies show singing offers a wealth of
physical and psychological benefits:
Singing improves breathing
Singing improves our breath control, even people with lung conditions such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 1
As a result of singing the body also has improved blood circulation and oxygen flow 2
Singing makes you feel good
Singing releases feel-good hormones
Singing releases endorphins into the system,
making you feel energised and uplifted. 3
You also get an oxytocin high when singing. Oxytocin is a hormone considered to decrease anxiety and stress as well as increase the feelings
of trust and bonding. 4
Singing improves physique and posture
Singing makes our hearts healthier
Singing affect our heart rates; choirs have been shown to synchronise their heart and breathing rates, increasing and decreasing them in response to music. 5
Singing also appears to reduce high blood pressure. 6
Singing boosts immunity
Singing has been shown to have a positive effect on our immune system, helping us to ward off disease. 7
Singing reduces the opportunity for bacteria to flourish in the nose and throat 8
Singing improves your physique
Your chest expands and your back and shoulders straighten when singing 8
Abdominal and intercostal muscles are all toned by singing 1
Singing boosts brain power
Singing increases concentration and improves memory. 9
During singing and exposure to music complex connections occur throughout the brain. 10 Accessing these broad connections regularly through singing/music appears to boost creativity and our ability to solve problems. 11
Singing improves overall well being
Recent studies show that singing has a significant effect on people's sense of wellbeing. Questionnaires show that people who sing regularly report an improvement in mood, enhanced quality of life and higher levels of emotional wellbeing 12
Singing improves confidence and self-perception
Children singing in choirs have improved self-esteem and sense of social inclusion. 13
One of the most valued benefits noticed by singers in these studies is that of improved self confidence and self worth 14, 15
Singing in a group particularly helps people with low self esteem develop friendships which can impact positively on their social and work lives 16
Singing promotes social bonding
Singing and especially choral singing creates opportunities for regular interaction, cooperation, social bonding and improved community spirit
Singing makes you feel good
Above all, singing is simply great fun!!
(No research necessary!)
1. Morrison, I. and S.M. Clift, Singing and People with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). In: Singing Wellbeing and Health: context, evidence and practice. Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health.
3. Study by University of Surrey
4. Study by Björn Vickhoff, Stockholm University
5. Vickhoff , B., et al., Music structure determines heart rate variability of singers, Front Psychol. 2013. 4: p. 334.
6.Valentine, E. and C. Evans, The effects of solo singing, choral singing and swimming on mood and psychological indices. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 2001. 74: p. 115-120.
7. Beck, R.J., et al., Choral singing, Performance Perception, and Immune System Changes in Salivary Immunoglobulin A and Cortisol. Music Perception, 2000. 18(1): p. 87-106.
8. Professor Graham Welch at Institute of Education, Univ of London
9. From Culture is Good for Your Health campaign
10. Racette, A., C. Bard and I. Peretz, Making non-fluent aphasics speak: sing along! Brain, 2006. 129(10): p. 2571-84.
11. Noice, T., H. Noice and A.F. Kramer, Participatory Arts for Older Adults: A Review of Benefits and Challenges. Gerontologist, 2013.
12. Clift, S., et al., Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 2010.
13. Welch, G., et al., The impact of Sing Up: an independent research-based evaluation - the story so far, 2010, International Music Education Research Centre. Institute of Education, University of London: London. ISBN 978-1905351138.
14. Jacob, C., C. Guptill and T. Sumsion, Motivation for continuing involvement in a leisure-based choir: the lived experiences of university choir members. Journal of Occupational Science, 2009. 16(3): p. 187-93.
15. Pavlakou, M., Benefits of group singing for people with eating disorders: preliminary findings from a non-clinical study. Approaches: music therapy and special music education, 2009. 1(1): p. 30-48.
16. Bailey, B.A. and J.W. Davidson, Effects of group singing and performance for marginalized and middle-class singers. Psychology of Music, 2005. 33(3): p. 269-303.