What Happens To Your Body When You Sing Every Day

We all love to belt it out once in a while. Whether you're in a choir, in the shower, or just humming along to the latest radio hits while driving, singing is a means to express ourselves, create a sense of community, or simply just let loose and have some fun! While the idea of singing every day may sound exhausting, doing so may actually have some unique health benefits that you wouldn't have expected.

Many different parts of the body engage simultaneously when we sing including the lungs, vocal cords, abdomen, rib muscles, teeth, and back — just to name a few (via London Singing Institute). According to Women Working, the inhalation and breath work required for singing promotes increased blood flow, which can decrease one's risk for cardiovascular disease, improve lung function, enhance one's posture, and may even reduce one's frequency of snoring — good news for your partner!

But the benefits don't stop there. A 2016 study found that when cancer patients engaged in 60 minutes of choir singing, not only did it foster a sense of community between them, but doing so also boosted participants' immune function (via ecancermedicalscience).

Singing can provide physical, mental, and cognitive health benefits

In addition to the wide range of physical benefits, research also indicates that singing can offer various mental and cognitive benefits as well. A recent 2021 study conducted by the University of Helsinki determined that seniors who participated in choir singing as a hobby over the course of their life demonstrated greater cognitive flexibility than those who did not. Doctoral student Emmi Pentikäinen states, "[Singing is] an activity that requires versatile information processing, as it combines the processing of diverse sensory stimuli, motor function related to voice production and control, linguistic output, learning and memorising melodies and lyrics, as well as emotions roused by the pieces sung."

Because singing can be a means of socialization (not to mention, just plain fun), there are studies that show singing may also be linked to overall happiness. This is reflected in a 2017 study which found that participants diagnosed with anxiety or depression saw improvement in their mental health when singing in groups (via University of East Anglia).

Of course, you can have too much of a good thing. Working your pipes overtime every day can lead to vocal fatigue or even damage to the vocal cords (via UT Southwestern Medical Center). For this reason, vocal specialists stress the importance of repeated vocal rest between bouts of singing. For every hour spent carrying a tune, experts suggest ten minutes of vocal inactivity to allow for recovery.