Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

04th Apr 2023 • 04 Min and 44 Sec

Singing is known to boost one’s immune system and reduce inflammation and chronic pain. Singing decreases blood pressure and improves heart rate and lung function.


We are all mortals who want to improve our health and well-being with simple things without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it taking a walk? Or is it not skipping breakfast? Or getting enough sleep? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

In today’s episode, I’m going to tell you about something you can do that boosts mood, reduces anxiety and even improves lung function, which is singing.

 You may be a talented singer or a bathroom singer; either way, it’s essential to know the health benefits that come with singing. Singing has been found to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation and chronic pain.

 You do not have to have a great voice or be a pro singer in order to enjoy the benefits of music and singing.

 We know that listening to music can make you laugh, cry, and it even calms you down. A study shows that listening to music affects your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. Another research conducted among patients undergoing chemotherapy showed that listening to live music helped lower anxiety, fear, fatigue and blood pressure.

 Although music is effective, singing along gets you the maximum benefits. Singing along with positive music just for 5 minutes a day helps in improving your mood.

 When you sing, the music activates the release of feel-good hormones in the brain, like dopamine. Singing also helps with pain reduction in most people with certain long-term illnesses. It also helps with breathing.

 Research done by the University of Frankfurt found that people who sang produced more number of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies, called immunoglobulin A. The same increase was not observed among those who just listened to music without singing.

 Singing has been studied to have profound benefits on physical as well as mental health. Along with boosting the immune system, in people with lung problems, singing has been seen to improve lung function. And by improving lung function, it also reduces snoring.

 Since singing is associated with breathing and breath control, some even believe that singing pulls in a greater amount of oxygen and thus can improve your aerobic capacity and stamina. Also, standing up straight is part of a proper singing technique; hence good posture will become a habit with time! Your overall posture is being improved as your chest cavity expands and your back and shoulders are in the correct alignment.

 Singing can also positively impact your mental health; it releases muscle tension and reduces levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in your bloodstream. Improved blood circulation caused by singing enhances focus, concentration and memory. In fact, there is a service called “Singing got the Brain” that helps people with dementia and Alzheimer’s maintain their memories.

 Singing is a special behaviour that has been with humans for thousands of years. It is an activity that has various components to it. It’s got the music in itself, the physical activity of breathing, its health benefits and the social aspect surrounding it. Singing in a group also brings you together with others and helps with building relationships.

 Remember, singing is one of the best ways to keep the mind and body healthy since it relieves stress, energises you, and provides a great workout! It is also fun to sing along to your favourite tunes! So don’t be shy and start singing your heart out.

 And if this is not one thing you are already doing, then do give it a try! Your lung, immune system and mental health could benefit.

 That’s one thing to include in your daily routine for improving your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” for a better tomorrow.