The next time someone makes a remark about your singing voice, regardless of the occasion, use stats to defend yourself: Singing has been found to reduce symptoms of asthma and improve mental health, especially if you sing in a group.
Scientists are currently exploring the mental and physiological benefits of singing with surprising results. A study based on data reported by 1,779 choir members around the world, which took place in the fall of last year, provided evidence confirming choral singing as a means of improving health and wellbeing. The results were published in Perspectives in Public Health. Study participants claimed making music enhanced cognitive function, fostered social connections, improved mental health, and facilitated enjoyment and transcendence.
Expert Stephen Clift corroborates this view. In Music, Health, and Wellbeing, he writes singing can improve your mood and create a sense of togetherness. His view is backed up by a series of research reports and studies.
Some experts believe that this sense of togetherness and group identity may stem from a rush of hormones that are released when you sing, including endorphins and oxytocin, both known as “happiness” and “pleasure” hormones. These chemicals may reduce stress and bring pleasure, TIME magazine reports. Data from a few studies also suggest group singing can help combat anxiety and depression, and provide a reprieve for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Finally, the physical act of singing may improve lung function and respiratory health in general. A 2014 review of research carried out on asthma and singing showed that music therapy may alleviate respiratory syndromes, but the authors of the researchers caution that further studies are necessary to prove this.