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Sing your way through 2020!

09 January 2020

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Why not try something different this year?

Most of us will have started the New Year (and in this case, a new decade!), with one or two resolutions, normally along the lines of being more active or losing weight, but what about improving your wellbeing?  Did that make your list this year?

Why not try something a little different for 2020 and sing your way to better wellbeing?  “Singing has been shown to improve our sense of happiness and wellbeing and research has found, for example, that people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events1”.

We caught up with Emma Rowland from Sing out Strong, who gave us ten reasons why joining a choir and singing your stresses away, should be one of your goals for 2020.

1) Singing increases confidence and promotes creativity

What better way to express yourself and release your inner popstar than on the stage in an exciting performance?  If you’ve always been too shy to have a go on the karaoke machine alone, then having a group of like-minded people around you, might be just what you need to give it a try.  You’ll be on The X Factor before you know it!

2) Singing builds community and a sense of belonging

Your choir becomes your team, your family and your support.  After a bad day, there’s nothing better than coming back to your safe place to forget about the outside world.

3) Singing combats anxiety and is a natural antidepressant

Singing causes the body to produce the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, which is known to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calm and bonding.  Furthermore, it decreases muscle tension in the whole body.

4) Singing strengthens immunity and cuts down on illness

Singing increases the quantity of proteins, or antibodies, in the immune system, which means that your body can actually fight off infection better.  Research has shown that this change only happens if you take part in the singing yourself, rather than just listening, so make sure you head down to your next choir rehearsal!

5) Singing produces endorphins and makes you feel energised

The same ‘happy hormones’ that you get from a bar of chocolate are also produced when you break into song!  Need we say more?

6) Singing creates opportunities and widens your social circle

A choir is a great way to meet new people.  There’s nothing better than heading to a local cafe or pub together after rehearsal or spending a day at a singing workshop with your new friends.  Plus you’ll get to perform in some really fantastic venues!

7) Singing reduces stress and helps you sleep better

An hour of singing can significantly reduce the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol.  The concentrated breathing can also help you drift off to sleep more easily and stay asleep for longer (it’s similar to the breathing used in meditation).  If that’s not enough, long-suffering partners will be glad to know that when you sing, you build up the throat and palate, which can help stop snoring and sleep apnoea!

8) Singing teaches posture and gives your body a workout

Standing up properly is one aspect of singing in a choir that you’ll be glad to see cross over into everyday life.  As you develop your singing technique, you’ll learn to hold your shoulders back and stand taller.  Furthermore, singing actually works the entire body, from increasing lung capacity to strengthening the diaphragm.

9) Singing improves morale and fosters a sense of achievement

Any singer will tell you that being in a choir is so much fun!  As well as the shared experiences and laughter, the feeling of accomplishment when you master a new song or conquer your stage fright, is an unparalleled high, that’s totally addictive.

10) Singing boosts circulation and can help you live longer

We’ve saved the best for last!  Singing is an aerobic activity that increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen in the brain.  This not only makes you more mentally alert, but it’s been proven that taking part in a group activity, such as singing in a choir, can literally add years to your life expectancy!

So, what are you waiting for?  Why not beat those January blues with a New Year’s resolution that benefits the whole you and start the next decade the wellbeing way, by joining a local choir today!

If you’d like to find out more about singing in a choir, take a look at Emma’s Sing out Strong page on WISH.

1 Choir singing improves health, happiness – and is the perfect icebreaker: Jacques Launay, Postdoctoral Researcher in Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

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