Not everyone can sing like a nightingale. When some of us try to carry a tune, we sound like Bob Dylan imitating Elmer Fudd.
Still, no matter the sound, experts say we should limber up our larynxes more often. According to a growing body of research, bursting into song is good for both your body and your brain.
“Singing a song that we know by ourself or with others triggers the reward system in the brain and releases dopamine that makes us feel better,” said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, who studies brain imaging and music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
One great thing about singing is you can reap the benefits anytime, anywhere. When COVID-19 sent society into lockdown mode last year, people around the globe belted out songs from their balconies to relieve stress and anxiety.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re singing in a public group or you’re alone in the car singing (along) with Michael Jackson. It’s all beneficial,” said Kay Norton, a professor of musicology at Arizona State University who studies the healing power of music.
Nobody knows exactly when humans first started singing on a regular basis. But in recent decades, scientists have studied its benefits in a range of areas, from relieving pain to minimizing snoring and helping improve posture and muscle tension.