Ever noticed how rad it feels to sing in the shower? Or how, after a few beers, everyone at the bar somehow magically gathers around a piano to belt out "Bohemian Rhapsody" in perfectly drunk harmony, and it's the best thing that's happened to any of you, like, ever? Well, there's actually some science behind why it feels so damn good. There are plenty of health benefits that come with singing your heart out, even if your neighbor kind of wishes you wouldn't.
Regardless of whether you struggle to stay in key or you nail every note with ease, go ahead and sing until your lungs give out so you can reap all these juicy benefits.
You can thank me later -- in song, of course.
1. Singing Changes Your Physiology
When you sing, you are actually changing what's going on inside your body.
Much like exercise, singing releases endorphins, which helps elevate mood, and you also release oxytocin, which alleviates anxiety and can help you feel all kinds of blissed out.
The combo is considered a natural “tranquilizer,” and one study even found that group singing in particular increases positive effects on an individual's overall well-being, and it can actually change your brain.
2. It's Technically Aerobic
Because you're engaging in deep breaths when you sing, you're bringing more oxygen to your blood and improving circulation.
This also accounts for part of the calming effect, since deep breaths can mellow you out when you're feeling stressed.
3. Singing Can Alleviate Pain
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Music Therapy showed that regular group singing can help people who suffer from chronic pain to both cope with the pain and actually physically feel better.
4. It Boosts Your Immune System
In a 2004 study from The Journal of Behavioral Medicine, saliva samples were taken from members of an amateur choir before and after singing, and an analysis showed, over time, their tunes led to positive effects on immune competence and decreased levels of cortisol.
5. Singing May Make You Smarter
When you sing, your right temporal lobe is activated, and your brain's neurotransmitters start connecting in totally different ways.
Damn, the human brain is so cool.
6. It Helps Your Heart Stay Healthy
Because singing requires slower and deeper respiration, it improves your heart rate variability, which is the varying time in intervals between your heartbeats.
Plus, a 2013 preliminary study from the journal Frontiers in Psychology showed that the heartbeats of choral singers start to sync up when they were all belting at the same tune.
Moral of the story? Say yes to karaoke next time. Your mind and body will both be grateful for it.