Your vocal performance in the shower is not performed in vain. Study after study has looked at the amazing effects singing has on our brains and bodies. Before you belt out your favorite tune under the fixture or sing solo to the radio in the car, give yourself a big bravo! You're supporting your health with every note.
It's as calming as yoga: Experts have said that the calming effect of singing has similar benefits to yoga. When you sing, your body releases endorphins, the happiness hormone; cortisol levels are lowered; and stress-fighting oxytocin increases in the brain. The combination of the three leaves you with that feel-good mood, very similar to what you experience as you float out of yoga class.
It adds years to your life: A joint study by Harvard and Yale universities looked at what was going on in a Connecticut town with a very high life-expectancy rate. Researchers found that many residents took part in choral singing groups; the activity was linked to improved heart function and a healthy mental state.
It helps combat pain: A study from the Journal of Music Therapy demonstrated that patients who suffered from chronic pain were able to alleviate symptoms through singing, boosting levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain and being forced to direct attention and energies away from the pain. Singing is fun, but it requires concentration, too!
It relieves anxiety and depression: Multiple studies out of Canada have found that singing fights against depression, enhancing participants' sense of emotional and physical well-being and improving their connection to others. This is proof that grabbing some friends, turning on some tunes, and singing your heart out seriously helps when things feel rough.