Singing is like doping for our brains. It activates neurotransmitters and releases endorphins. The effect: We become happier, smarter and healthier. Singing together even increases the effect.
Singing in a group brings about something amazing: such as the release of serotonin and oxytocin – bonding hormones that are responsible for trust and cooperation. Even our heart beat synchronises itself through singing.
So, singing reduces stress – which can be proven through the measurement of lower levels of cortisol. The therapeutic effect has nothing to do with the quality of the singing. You just have to join in. The rest happens by itself through a positive upward spiral.
Be it at church, at school, at holiday camp or at scouts – in the past people sang everywhere. With the onset of modern demands of perfection, this has declined. But singing can only be practiced by singing. The more you practice the freer and more secure you feel; the more you feel like a unit in a choir with others and the better the experience of freedom and security in the group.
Singing as Therapy
Perhaps one should move away from the notion of singing purely as an artistic performance. One can also see it in terms of a Yoga meditation – here you also have to practice and you can’t attain a high level right away. Or you can see singing as therapy – something that helps people get their power and life-spirit back after traumatic events. We should use our freedom to allow ourselves to use every opportunity we have to sing during our daily lives.