Sing for the Joy of It, Sing Because It is Good for You

When God passed out singing talents, He skipped right over me. I can't carry a tune no matter how hard I try. How I wish I could. But, I can't.

Nevertheless, I love to sing! I usually reserve my concerts for when it is just me -- in the car, with the windows rolled up tight, and the radio blasting. I mostly listen to either Christian music or oldies from the 60s and 70s. My memory is pitiful when it comes to why I walked into the kitchen, but I can remember a lot of the lyrics of old songs.

Power of music

Maybe that isn't so strange. Glen Campbell gave his goodbye tour a year after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He couldn't remember what disease he had, but he could still play his guitar and sing his songs with great accuracy. (Sometimes he might forget that he had just played a song, but he didn't forget the lyrics to the song!)

Did you know that singing actually causes your body to release hormones like endorphins and oxytocins? These hormones increase feelings of pleasure, alleviate anxiety and stress, and enhance feelings of trust and bonding. As such, some studies find that singing helps combat feelings of depression and loneliness.1

I was surprised but happy to learn that singing may be as beneficial to us as doing yoga is. That's powerful! While I have enjoyed the few yoga classes I've taken, I like singing a lot better. Singing requires deep breathing and deep breathing results in bringing more oxygen into your body. Increased oxygen brings greater energy and alertness.2

Equally important to those of us fighting a life-threatening disease, singing is believed to enhance our immune systems. This idea is supported by the fact that singing reduces cortisol (a stress hormone) and increases the immunoglobin A antibody.2

My favorite songs to sing

I love to find YouTube videos that include the words to the songs. Sometimes, I discover that what I thought the lyrics were was dead wrong! But, more than that, seeing the lyrics ensures that I can sing along. And, just as the research indicates, I always feel a lot better after a songfest -- the world is brighter, my spirits lighter.

I have a favorite Christian artist named David Phelps. I can start watching YouTube videos of some of his performances and look up hours later. I won't realize how much time has flown by while I am totally immersed in watching, listening, and singing along.

Lately, I've been doing the same thing with videos of auditions for shows like American Idol, America (or Britain) Has Talent, The X Factor, etc. A person might think I've lost it if they walked through and saw me with tears flowing down my face or a triumphant grin on my face when an underdog opens his or her mouth and begins to sing. Remember Susan Boyle? I can watch that video time and again and I still laugh and cry over her success.

Don't be afraid to belt it out!

Sing!! Belt it out!! If you can sing in a choir, that's even better, but if not, sing in the shower or in the car. It's good for you physically and mentally! What are your favorite songs to sing?

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