When we are in the shower, we listen to music and sing. In short, singing makes us happier. This universal practice fills us with serotonin and oxytocin. This injection of enthusiasm is available to everyone. In fact, even people with Alzheimer’s react every time they are encouraged to sing.
How song changes our world
Edith Piaf once said that singing allows us to escape into another world. But psychologists and neuroscientists do not completely agree with this. But music therapy represents a way of connecting ourselves with others and arousing the emotions that help us establish more intense bonds with other people.
For example, in a study published in The Journals of Gerontology , researchers explain that when older people sing in a community choir, their health improves and they feel less lonely. We must not ignore the fact that people over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer from depression associated with social isolation.
Therefore, something as simple as being part of a musical group can enhance interaction and generate very positive emotional, cognitive and physical changes. But even everyday things, such as singing in the shower, also act as a restart button that can give us energy, happiness and a good dose of positivity.
In fact, singing makes us happier because the brain loves music
In the end, we experience happiness through the simplest things, like good company, an afternoon of rest, or a meal with friends. Because of a fact that is both basic and fascinating, singing makes us happier: The human brain loves music.
Science strives to explain this fact. Leonard Meyer explains in his book Emotion and Meaning in Music that the brain experiences a kind of pleasant shock with every piece of music and with every single note that we dare to sing loudly.
In addition, researchers say that we have an interesting structure in our ears that allows us to sing: the eardrum. This small part of the inner ear corresponds to the frequencies that are created when we sing. The physiological answer gives us joy. These vibrations calm the brain in a cathartic way. It’s almost magical.
We can sing to a better mood, because that’s how singing makes us happier
Pablo Picasso said that to paint and draw, you have to close your eyes and sing. Singing softly or loudly, or even whispering and humming is something that many of us do when performing other tasks. Thus, we commonly sing while driving, play sports, clean our house, or even work.
Singing improves our mood. It releases endorphins, produces serotonin and reduces cortisol levels. A study conducted at the University of Frankfurt revealed that singing strengthens our immune system, and even improves our breathing, membrane flexibility and lung health.
The correlation between song and neurodegenerative diseases
But one of the most notable benefits of singing, as we already mentioned at the beginning of this article, involves people with neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association has been conducting what they call “singing for the brain” sessions for years.
It has been observed that singing improves the attention of the elderly with this disease. It helps them find a connection with others in a positive way. They experience joy, laugh and feel more receptive to communication and interaction. It also improves their concentration and mood.
On the other hand, another aspect that intellectual disabilities experts such as Tom Shakespeare and Alice Whieldon of the University of East Anglia have been able to verify is that people with mental health problems benefit greatly from singing workshops. Singing reduces their stress and anxiety levels and helps them with self-confidence and social skills.
We can say that singing always rewards our brain in some way. Music works like another language where there are no words.