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How to Take Care of Yourself (and your mental health) Through Singing and Music

As I write this Sydney (and now Melbourne!) has just gone into lockdown.


During a time of uncertainty, there are a lot of emotions that can overtake you. We have all felt this feeling, but most importantly we have all felt the feeling of having to be ok even if it feels like you can’t. One way to help us get through these difficult times is to find a healthy release when it comes to your emotions! Whether that is picking up some baking or it is picking up a new language, it's always great to do something you wouldn’t normally do.


There are so many beneficial effects when it comes to music and singing, which has led a lot of people to undertake this practice in their lives. If you have ever had an interest in music or singing, here is a list of some benefits it can have to help you get through stressful times… including this current lockdown!.


1. Singing releases a whole bunch of nice endorphins! The best part is…. You don’t have to be good either! Endorphins are a great natural stress reliever. A 2015 study conducted by Fancourt, Aufegger, and Williamon discovered that the amount of cortisol was lowered in the body after a good sing! However, this only happens if you’re singing in a non-anxious area such as the comfort of your own home! This happens in both group settings or on your own. Next time you feel a little stressed try having a sing of one of your favourite songs and hopefully you will feel a bit better afterward.

2. Too scared to sing? Just Listen! You can achieve the benefits of music from simply just listening to music. There are multiple neurochemicals that are activated when you listen to music and these chemicals are known to help brain function and mental health. Including Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin (Chanda & Levitin, 2013)


3. Music is also great for your physical health as well. A 2006 study (Bernardi, Porta & Sleight, 2006) into heart health, discovered that music is able to alter your heart rate, blood pressure, and breath rate. This means that if you were listening to high-intensity music it can increase and if you listen to something a little more calming it can decrease. Take a listen to one of our favourite Spotify playlists to help you destress and calm your heart rate and breath.


Overall whether it is through singing and music, it is important to find the special thing that can help you destress and focus through stressful times like this at the moment. Let us know what you like to enjoy <3


References


Fancourt, D., Aufegger, L., & Williamon, A. (2015). Low-stress and high-stress singing have contrasting effects on glucocorticoid response. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 1242.

Chanda, M. L., & Levitin, D. J. (2013). The neurochemistry of music. Trends in cognitive sciences, 17(4), 179-193

Bernardi, L., Porta, C., & Sleight, P. (2006). Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory changes induced by different types of music in musicians and non-musicians: the importance of silence. Heart, 92(4), 445-452




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