Move over yogis—instead of quiet meditation, try singing.
I can’t sing (and don’t). But I guess I’d better try if I want to live longer. (And if I combined singing with yoga, imagine my life’s longevity!)
They’re everywhere, people who love to sing—whether they love karaoke or secretly singing in their cars. Actually, not-so-secretly since we see them at red lights as we pull up next to them.
We may laugh, yet are charmed by their belting out a tune—and it seems they exude a confidence that we non-singers just don’t have. Think about it—all the car commercials that use catchy songs that we then go download on Spotify (even if we don’t end up buying the car).
Shows like Glee help keep songs swirling in our heads, too. Aside from the melodies seeping into our brains, the Mayo Clinic agrees that music is beneficial for our health and is helping the elderly function better.
A three-year study analyzed how singing affected people 55 and older. The Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. created a Senior Singers Chorale and they reported many health perks, including falling less, not needing as much medication, and being happier overall.
Even Alzheimer’s patients who can no longer speak coherently, per se, can recall old-timey songs when prompted. (I see this all the time at my grandma’s nursing home and it never fails to astound me!)
Aside from helping us live longer, there are several additional benefits of singing and listening to music, including how they:
- Help boost the immune system (which is often indicated by our energy levels)
- Relieve stress (we could all use that, right?)
- Increase our brain and mental health
- Cause us to sleep better
- Make our self-esteem go up
- Elevate our happiness from all the endorphins swimming around our brains from the music
If you want to sing more formally than just along with your car radio, sound therapy and sound healing workshops are “in,” as well. Or, you can join your church choir (and probably for free). In this 2013 Time article, it stated that Chorus America reported that 32.5 million adults sang in choirs, and that figure had increased by nearly 10 million more over the six previous years. The piece also noted that there were more than 270,000 choruses across the U.S. Now that is something worth singing about.
So, next time you see someone car-singing, instead of laughing, try it for yourself. (After all, it’s cheaper than therapy.)