Wouldn't it be great if you can sing your way out of depression?
Imagine, singing away every morning in your car or while washing the dishes, or why not just join a singing group? It will be great fun and will chase away your depression. Sounds better than drugs? I can predict a definite yes for some people.
The thing is, I believe, that singing is a natural protection of our body against stresses, anxieties and all sorts or pressure. And research into advantages of singing therapy only confirms my point of view.
Singing, especially choir singing offers amazing range of benefits for people, but especially for those of us with mental health problems.
When you sing, you exercise major muscle groups in your upper body and receive more oxygen. Research claims that choral singing even boosts your immune system, gives you feeling of happiness, stops your voice from ageing and even helps you to manage chronic pain better.
Here are just a few factors which researchers noticed in singing groups of people with depression.
- Mentally you reduce your stress levels;
- Singing in groups increases your sense of belonging to a group or community;
- Singing also increases blood levels of happy hormone oxytocin, which is released during intimacy;
- Joining choir singing groups also strengthens communication and relationship, you make friends, find and give support, feel empowered from leading rounds of singing, or greeting or assisting new members;
- Depression disorder deprives you of self-confidence, while singing improves your self-esteem. You are proud of yourself when you can remember lyrics correctly. Your vocal skills, breathing and dynamics improve.
- Singing provides treatment of depression by allowing you to express painful feelings and emotions through a safe way - through various songs lyrics.
Music itself instigates interesting changes in our brain chemistry. It influences the limbic area of the brain responsible for memory and emotions. Imagine if you listen to particularly enjoyable songs, even your muscles relax in response.
So, in general singing provides great depression help, it releases endorphins in our brain, "happy" chemicals, which will keep depression at bay and makes us feel healthier and more alive.
What's good, singing along to the lyrics you enjoy doesn't cost you anything, and you can do it anytime anywhere. And don't be discouraged, anyone can sing, doesn't matter if you think that your voice is not up to snuff. Just DO IT. Think of it as vitamins which you take to keep yourself healthy. Singing is the same. Do it often, enjoy it, and you'll keep depression away from yourself.